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Full text of "Omni Magazine (August 1993)"


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VOL.15 NO. 10 


First Word 

By Octavia E. Butler 

America must 

keep its public libraries. 




Artificial Intelligence 

By Steve Nad is 



By Jeffrey Zygrnont 



By Nina L Diamond 


Electronic Universe 

By Gregg Keizer 



By Kathleen McAuliffe 



By Judith Bell 



By Peter Callahan 



By Robert K. J. Killheffer 


Political Science 

By Tom Dworetzky 



By Byron Poole 



By Scot Morris 







"Leave this to the professionals" is a sentiment not often 

heard in astronomy. In fact, professional 
astronomers rely on amateurs to help them search the sky. 

Read about amateurs' contributions, and learn 
how to set up your own observatory and what to watch 

for when you do. (Cover by Shigemi Numazawa, 
Philip Edgerly Agency; art and photo credits, page 84) 




Sky Watchers 

By Sharon McAuliffe 

Discovering comets and 


is all in a night's 

work for 

amateur astronomers. 


New Technologies, 

Ancient Cultures 

By A. J. S. Rayl 

Native Americans are 

using technology 

to fight for their rights 

and way of life, 


Murders from the Past 

By James Dickerson 

Who are these forensic 


and why are they digging 

up famous 

suspected murder victims? 


Fiction: Mrs. Jones 

By Carol Emshwiller 



By Susan Skog 

The latest 

modern conveniences 

save energy, too, 



By Douglas Stein 



□a by Omni Publications 
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Are they becoming extinct? 

By Octavia E. Butler 

Octavia E. Butler's 

On ApriF 29, 1986, I stood on the 
corner of Fifth Street and Grand 
Avenue in downtown Los Ange- 
les and watched black smoke 
pour trom the windows of LA.'s 
Central Library. The big library, 
which I loved, and in which I 
wrote my first novel, was a victim 
not only of arson, but of years — 
decades — of neglect, political 
bickering, and short-term think- 
ing. Ironically, by the time of the 
fire, the building's long-needed 
renovations had finally been 
scheduled. This year, those ren- 
ovations, made all the more ur- 
gent by the fire, will be com- 
plete—just in time for another, 
broader library crisis. 

All over the country now, pub- 
lic libraries are in as much dan- 
ger from shortsighted budget 
cuts, political expediency, and ne- 
glect as the old firetrap Central Li- 
brary ever was from fire. The L.A. 
Library fire was a metaphor for 
what's happening to libraries in 
America. Some libraries have al- 
ready been closed. Others have 
had to cut hours, staff, services, 
and acquisitions. 

This is not sensible! We Amer- 
icans of the 1990s are sending 
our unskilled and semiskilled 

jobs away to low-wage countries 
just as fast as we can. Ws're hop- 
ing that the long-term result of 
this will be to stimulate enough of 
an increase in trade to create 
new, better-paying jobs. Of 
course new workers will need 
more education to get those 
jobs, and displaced workers will 
need job-market information and 
retraining. But meanwhile, we're 
saving money by cutting school 
budgets, closing school libraries, 
raising university tuitions and 
fees, and diminishing or closing 
public libraries. 

In my most recent book, my 
main character, who lives in a 
poorer, dumber near-future time, 
writes, "Intelligence is ongoing, 
individual adaptability." And, 
"Civilization is ... a means of 
combining the intelligence of 
many to achieve ongoing group 
adaptability." Just so. And in the 
present time of great change, pub- 
lic libraries, like public schools 
are among the best tools of ad- 
aptation and civilization that our 
society has. 

Public libraries in particular are 
the open universities of America. 
They're free; they're accessible to 
everyone; they may offer special 
services to shut-ins, to children, 
even to nonreaders, They offer 
worlds of possibilities to people 
who might otherwise be confined 
by their ignorance and poverty to 
continued ignorance and worsen- 
ing poverty. 

.I'm a writer at least partly be- 
cause I had access to public li- 
braries. I'm black, female, the 
child of a shoeshine man who 
died young and a maid who was 
uneducated but who knew her 
way to the library I 'm also a prod- 
uct of librarians who read stories 
to groups of avid little kids and 
taught them how to look for 
books about mythology and hors- 
es, dinosaurs and stars. At the li- 
brary, I read books my mother 

could never have afforded on top- 
ics that would ■never have oc- 
curred to her. I escaped from 
text books that seemed intent on 
teaching me how dry and dull 
reading had to be. At school, I 
learned that reading was work. At 
the library, I learned that it was 
fun. And because the high 
school I attended had no creative 
writing classes of any kind, I got 
all my early information on the 
craft and business of writing 
from the library. 

The trip that I made to the L.A. 
Library on the day of the fire was 
part of my effort to pay back a lit- 
tle of what I felt I owed to librar- 
ies in general. I had joined the Li- 
brary Adult Reading Project and 
was on my way to meet with a stu- 
dent whom I had been tutoring, 
The student was an eleventh- 
grade dropout who could read a 
little but who couldn't write much 
more than his name and address. 
After the fire, he and I met at a 
branch library across the street 
from a high school. There, when 
the school day ended, kids 
poured into the library to do home- 
work, read, gossip, make chaos, 
and in general, stay safe and out 
of trouble. Being in the middle of 
all this was, for me, like taking a 
trip backward^ in time to my own 
school years. But for a lot of kids 
now, going to the library after 
school won't be even a memory. 
To save money, branch libraries 
are being closed, being sacri- 
ficed the way some trees are sup- 
posed to sacrifice branches dur- 
ing a drought, In fact, we're cre- 
ating an intellectual drought that 
can only be made worse by 
such sacrifice. We're doing our- 
selves lasting harm in exchange 
for the ephemeral good of quick- 
fix budget cuts. It's time we 
stopped, considered the conse- 
quences of our self-destructive 
behavior, and made the neces- 
sary changes. DO 



Prevention on a' plate, altered states debatable, 

and regarding Quark 

Alternatives Redeemed 
I'm a student at Bell High School in Ne- 
pean, Ontario. I chose Judith Hooper's 
"Unconventional Cancer Treatments" 
and "The Cancer War: Stories from the 
Front" by Linda Murray, both from the 
February /March 1993 issue, as part of 
my biology class reading material. The 
contrast between these two articles Is 
startling. I support Hooper's view that 
the American Cancer Society (ACS) 
should embrace natural preventive 
agents and potential cures more will- 
ingly, especially if they're proven safe. 
The ACS should not condemn these 
alternative remedies; it should be will- 
ing to explore all possible avenues. 
Who knows? Shark-fin soup may prove 
to be invaluable. As we forge ahead 
with scientific research, we shouldn't 
lose sight of the fact that we have our 
roots in nature and should be more 
accepting of natural remedies. Having 
been bombarded with articles on the 
likes of immunology and genetic re- 
search, it's a pleasant change to come 
across an article that focuses on the sim- 
plistic, natural aspects of cancer 
cures. Discovering an article such as 
Hooper's has sparked an interest in sci- 
ence magazines, which Is unprecedent- 
ed in my case. 

Rajni Singhal 
Kanata, Ontario, Canada 

Linda Murray's "The Cancer War: Sto- 
ries from the Front" gives lip service to 
cancer prevention and perpetuates the 
myth that cancer is inevitable. There are 
many things a person can do to great- 
ly decrease the risk of cancer. The Na- 
tional Cancer Institute has noted that up- 
wards of 80 percent of all cancers are 
due to identified factors. High-fiber, low- 
fat, plant-based diets have been 
shown to reduce the risk of breast, pros- 
tate, and colon cancer. Fiber and many 
vitamins and minerals in plant foods 
have a demonstrated ability to inhibit 
cancer. Dietary fats and animal fats in 
particular, are promoters, which help 
cancerous cells to grow very quickly. 
Cancer is'not inevitable; it can be pre- 
vented. We have the power to stop can- 

cer, and the secret to that power is 
what lies on our plates. 

Neal D. Barnard, M.D., President 

Physicians Committee 

for Responsible Medicine 

Washington, DC 

Tuned Out, Turned Off 
If [Terence] McKenna [May 1993] 
doesn't accidentally overdose and 
lives to old age, he'll probably some- 
day find he has seriously damaged his 
nervous circuitry with repeated "trip- 
ping." At that time, he'll long for the 
"handicap" of simple linear and spatial 

Marie Gray 
Vermillion, SD 

I can't believe you'd waste paper on 
fluff such as the Terence McKenna in- 
terview. Let me get this straight; when 
on his hallucinogenic trips, McKenna be- 
lieves he communicates with "self-trans- 
forming machine elves . . . like self- 
dribbling jeweled basketballs." Right. 
Dean G. Wiesinger 
El Paso, TX 

It's Shimerman 

In your Deep Space Nine article [Feb- 
ruary/March 1993], author David Bisch- 
off names several actors in the show; 
however, there was a mistake. Bisch- 
off says the part of Quark is played by 
Armin Shirmer. His name Is Shimerman. 
Kerri L. Raw 
Bemidji, MN 

Da vid Bischoff replies; it is indeed Armin 
Shimerman who plays Quark on Deep 
Space Nine, not Armin Shirmer. DO 

Got something to say but no time to 
write? Call 1-900-407-4494, ext. 
70103. Your comments will be re- 
corded and may appear in an upcom- 
ing issue of Omni! The cost for the 
call is 95 cents per minute. You 
must be 18 or older. Touch-tone 
phones only. Sponsored by Pure 
Entertainment, P.O. Box 166, Holly- 
wood, Caiifornia 90078. 



A Massachusetts company helps" people make mistakes — painlessly 

By Steve Nadis 

decisions: Wisdom 

produces software 

that helps 

people learn how 

to exercise 

good judgment 

in various 

business situations. 

The Greek philosopher 
Zen of Elea is famous for 
the paradox he explored 
in a treatise challenging common- 
place notions of space and time 
Some 2,500 years later, an Amer- 
ican entrepreneur, Abrahams of 
Cambridge, took another para- 
dox and built a software compa- 
ny around it. 

Marc Abrahams' business re- 
volves around wisdom and how 
to get it. To his way of thinking, a 
wise person is someone who ex- 
ercises good judg- 
ment. Good judg- 
ment, in turn, 
comes from expe- 
rience. The most 
valuable experi- 
ence comes from 
mistakes, which 
are the result 
bad judgment. 

In an attempt 
to answer this par- 
adox, Abrahams 
has devised a se- 
ries of computer- 
run "judgment ex- 
ercisers" which 
force people to 
think their way 
through artificial 
yet involving ex- 
periences that af- 
ford them the luxury of making mis- 
takes without blowing up cities or 
getting fired from their jobs. 

Wisdom Simulators, the Massa- 
chusetts-based company Abra- 
hams founded in 1984, sells soft- 
ware programs that simulate nas- 
ty experiences from the business 
world. "Learning how to deal 
with these situations typically 
takes years," he says. "They're 
the kinds of things people often 
learn the hard way. We're trying 
to shorten the learning process — 
and even make it fun." 

Wisdom customizes software 
for individual clients, and it also 
sells two generic products for man- 

agers. One of these, Bite Your 
Tongue, provides ten scenarios 
relating to job interviews. The oth- 
er, Hold Your Fire, presents ten 
situations relating to conflict res- 
olution and employee relations — 
substance abuse, sexual harass- 
ment, and even death threats. 

Both interactive programs dis- 
play on the computer screen a de- 
scription of a thorny situation 
with which a hypothetical manag- 
er must contend . After asking us- 
ers to select a course of action 
among five alternatives, the soft- 
ware describes what happens 
next, asking the pretend manag- 
ers to pick a new response 
among five more options, and so 
on. At each stage, the choices be- 
come increasingly difficult. The 
program proceeds until the users 
have either successfully handled 
the matter or failed miserably. In 
the latter case, the computer re- 
capitulates the scenario, suggest- 
ing alternative approaches. 

At the end of the simulation, as 
in real life, people may be left with- 
out a clear-cut answer. "The 
whole point is to start an argu- 
ment," Abrahams says. He and 
his staff designed the programs 
for groups so that peopie will dis- 
cuss, argue, and eventually 
learn from each other. 

It took about two years to pro- 
duce each of the two simulation 
packages. Abrahams met with 
hundreds of managers and exec- 
utives at more than 60 corpora- 
tions, universities, law firms, and. 
government agencies. To each 
he posed just one question: 
"What drives you crazy?" He gath- 
ered their various responses, iden- 
tifying the ones that seemed uni- 
versal. He and his staff then fine- 
tuned the resulting software by 
trying it out on users. 

A very lean operation, Wisdom 
Simulators boasts only one other 
full-time employee, sales director 
Michele Meagher. Yet the small 

company has already compiled 
an impressive client list that in- 
cludes NASA, the U.S. Navy, the 
General Accounting Office, Du 
Pont, Aetna Life aad Casualty, 
Merrill Lynch, and Harvard Univer- 
sity. To date, it's the only compa- 
ny designing software to help peo- 
ple make judgment calls, and its 
products have garnered general- 
ly enthusiastic reviews. "Hold 
Your Fire is an apt name," 
claims Rich March, 'editor of the 
New York-based computer mag- 
azine VAR Business. "There may 
be a temptation for someone new 
to management, like myself, to 
blow up in a frustrating situation, 
but this program helps you to 
avoid that." 

"It's like fire-fighting drills on 
ships," comments John Adkins, 
a lawyer at the Boston firm of Bing- 
ham, Dana and Gould, who runs 
the simulations in workshops for 
clients and staff, "Once a fire 
breaks out, you're glad you've 
been through them." 

Still, some observers question 
whether people can learn how to 
make better decisions from a com- 
puter. "People are awed by a ma- 
chine," says Boston management 
consultant Kim Slack. "The com- 
puter automatically spits out five 
alternatives, and you think, 'Wow! 
I didn't even come up with two.' 
But the one you thought of might 
have been better than the choic- 
es appearing on the screen." 

Abrahams agrees, explaining 
that the listed options are sup- 
posed to encourage people to 
generate their own ideas. He con- 
tends that "the computer is a lot 
more powerful when you flip it up- 
side down and use it to raise ques- 
tions rather than answer them. 
We just want something that can 
ask the right questions. With the 
right questions coming out of the 
computer, the most important 
'processing' will take place in peo- 
ple's minds." DO 



Driving grows less hazardous, if 'a little duller 

By Jeffrey Zygmont 

■ he safest vehicle money hour, there's only so much you 
can buy? About $3.5 mil- can do with the few inches of 
lion will get you an M1 A2 space between the door and the 

In the future age 
of acciifenl- 

Iree, automated 
cars and auto- 
matic roadways, 
lei's hope 
some forgotten 
highways will 
remain for us who 
still enjoy 
the adventure of 

main-battle tank built by General 
Dynamics for the U.S. Army and 
other allied takers. Weighing 68 
tons with a sophisticated armor 
package that includes depleted 
uranium, which is two-and-a-half 
times denser than steel, the ve- 
hicle will see you safely through 
most highway mishaps. 

But even /fyour M1A2, travel- 
ing its 45-mile-per-hour top 
speed, survived a head-on with 
a tractor-trailer doing 60, its pas- 
sengers probably wouldn't come 
out whole. In motor vehicles, per- 
fect protection simply cannot be 
bought. No matter how well forti- 
fied an automobile, the surest 
way to escape injury is to avoid 
wrecks altogether. 

"Avoidance benefits motorists 
about 100 times more often than 
protection measures," says Mick 
Scherba, citing data he's culled as 
director of safety performances 
for General Motors, the world's 
largest maker and crash tester of from Acura actually sen 
automobiles. Toeing to this line, 
accident avoidance is emerging 
as the primary aim of future au- 
tomotive-safety technologies. 

That's not to say that armor plat- 
ing against impacts isn't getting 
attention, too. But every car de- 
sign already incorporates a 
crush zone for front-end acci- 
dents — which manipulates en- 
gine mass, sheet metal, and 
dercarriage gear to absorb 
an impact's fury. It's proba- 
bly impossible to build in 
the same measure of 
protection against 
side and even rear- 
end collision: 
"When £ 
gets hit in 
side at 30 

motorist," says David Viano, prin- 
cipal biomedical research scien- 
tist at GM Research Laboratories. 
Happily then, the quickening ad- 
vance of technology, especially 
electronic control, makes it easi- 
er to make cars that avoid acci- 
dents. For example, the comput- 
er brain of an antilock brake sys- 
tem (ABS) automatically modu- 
lates brake pressure so that a driv- 
er retains the steering control 
he'd loose if wheels locked into 
a skid during hard stops. A new- 
er arrival, traction control, helps 
drivers accelerate more safely on 
slippery roads. The system on the 
new Lincoln Mark VIII luxury cruis- 
er uses its antilock braking's sen- 
sors and microprocessor to de- 
tect when one or both of the 
drive wheels are spinning too 
fast, automatically applying the 
brake to bring it back to speed. 
The traction-control system on 
the NSX and Legend Coupe LS 

when a car begins a sideways 
slide, automatically cutting back 
engine power no matter how 
hard the driver tries to pour it on. 

More exotic avoidance fea- 
tures will soon arrive. GM's Cadil- 
lac division, Viano says, will offer 
night-vision systems that give ear- 
ly warning of obstacles. Similar, 
forward-looking radar may even- 
tually wrest complete control of a 
vehicle to avoid collisions. 
"When the radar detects an ob- 
stacle,"' Viano says, "it may de- 
power the car if you continue driv- 
ing forward. If you keep coasting, 
hellbent on hitting the obstacle, 
the system may brake for you." 

Such measures attack the grav- 
est problem in traffic safety: driv- 
er behavior — and misbehavior. Vi- 
ano cites accident studies show- 
ing that 45 percent of traffic 
deaths occur when a car's own 
driver commits an error, like miss- 
ing a stop sign. About 21 percent 
result from overly aggressive driv- 
ing, usually from failure to nego- 
tiate a curve. The remaining 34 
percent of fatalities get classified 
as "unavoidable," because 
they're caused by a driver in an- 
other car who may pass improp- 
erly or run a stoplight. 

The statistics suggest an obvi- 
ous remedy: improve driving to re- 
duce serious or deadly acci- 
dents. That's why technology is 
taking over with automatic avoid- 
ance systems that operate vehi- 
cles with more care and precision 
than human drivers. 

But everything comes at a 
cost. The price for driver careless- 
ness is control. No doubt, many 
motorists will gladly cede their driv- 
ing responsibilities to surer-foot- 
ed robot cars. But others mourn 
the loss. Why else do some peo- 
ple still purchase cars with man- 
ual transmissions, preferring the 
whump-kachunk of hand shifting 
to the breezy anonymity of auto- 
matic gears? DQ 


Savings banks for neural tissue are open for -deposits 

By Nina L. Diamond 

Much In 
demand by re- 
brains will 
help reveal se- 
crets ol the 
living mind. 

f% f^ ost people haven't no- 
I I ticed that this country 
I %m I is suffering from a se- 
vere brain shortage. "Sure, I've no- 
ticed, "you may chuckle, pointing 
a finger at Washington or the lo- 
cal government of your choice. 
But that's not the kind of brain 
shortage we're talking about. We 
mean gray matter, white matter, 
brain tissue — the stuff in your 
head that neuroscientists need to 
investigate a variety of diseases, 
disorders, and dilemmas. 

During the Eighties, investiga- 
tors learned more about the cen- 

tral nervous system than in all pri- 
or human history. The Nineties 
promise to be even more enlight- 
ening. "The brain is the last bio- 
logical frontier," says neuroscien- 
tist Deborah Mash, director of the 
University of Miami Brain Endow- 
ment Bank. Founded in 1986, it's 
one of only three general brain 
banks in the nation. "We need io 
study the human brain post- 
mortem — diseased brains and 
healthy ones tor comparison." 
The Miami bank has acquired 
nearly 200 brains in the last six 
years, and 500 are pledged. 

Brain banks provide tissue to 
researchers looking for new treat- 
ments and cures for Parkinson's 
disease, schizophrenia, Alzheim- 
er's disease, Tourette's syn- 
drome, multiple sclerosis, Hunt- 

ington's and Lou Gehrig's diseas- 
es, Down's syndrome, depres- 
sion, AIDS, and a host of other 
illnesses. They're also examining 
how the brain is affected by in- 
ternal and externa! activities: ge- 
netics, stress, alcohol, drugs, 
chemicals, and other toxins. And 
of course, they're looking to under- 
stand the brain. 

Individuals who've noted on 
their drivers licenses that they are 
organ donors have willed every- 
thing but the brain, although 
most are not aware of that. The 
brain is endowed separately — 
directly to one of the three banks 
(Miami, Boston, Los Angeles) 
that accept all kinds of brains or 
to one of the handful that special- 
ize in one particular disorder. 

"One brain can provide 
enough tissue for 50 research- 
ers," says neuroscientist Edward 
Bird, director of the Brain Tissue 
Resource Center at McLean Hos- 
pital of Harvard University, found- 
ed in 1978. "We receive ten per- 
cent more brains each-year than 
the last, and we always have at 
least one thousand in our freez- 
ers. But the number of research- 
ers and projects is skyrocketing, 
and the requests will outpace 
what we have at the moment." 

So-called "normal" brains are 
just as much in demand as un- 
healthy ones. "We use them as 
controls to compare to the dis- 
eased or impaired brain," ex- 
plains neuroscientist Wallace Tour- 
tellotte, director of the National 
Neurological Research Specimen 
Bank at V. A. Wadsworth Hospi- 
tal of UCLA, founded in 1961 . "All 
banks have a shortage of normal 
brains." The LA. bank has more 
than 2,000 brains, collects 150 on 
average each year from donors, 
and has 1,600 pledged. "When 
the donor is dying, the next of kin 
calls to let us know. We've made 
arrangements for a place to 
have the brain removed, and we 

get the donor's medical records, 
too," Tourtellotte explains. 

Although the banks are in dire 
need of tissue, not just any old 
brain will do. "The ideal situation 
is sudden, natural death," says 
Mash. "Someone brain dead on 
a respirator is a bad donor, be- 
cause brain death alters cellular 
structure, chemistry, and efectri- 
cal activity." The brain must be re- 
moved no later than 12 hours af- 
ter death. Any later and deterio- 
ration will render it useless for 
research. Brains for donation are 
removed by pathologists and cor- 
oners. After removal, the entire 
brain is frozen and remains that 
way in the bank. 

Donor awareness is greatest 
among older Americans, Mash 
points out, and younger tissue is 
desperately needed. "We need 
baby-boomer brains," she says, 
adding that drug-abuse studies 
in particular require neural tissue 
from the 30- to 50-year-old crowd. 

Brains of all ages are affected 
by disease and disorder, and 
Bird notes that "there's always a 
shortage of young brains : partic- 
ularly children's. While families 
don't like doing autopsies on chil- 
dren, they feel good knowing the 
tissue is going to a worthwhile 
cause." Increasing the public's 
awareness of the need for brain 
donors is paramount. "People 
think neuroscientists only work in 
labs with rats," Bird says. 

"Tell the people this is differ- 
ent," Tourtellotte says. "You don't 
get an immediate return like donat- 
ing your eyes and giving sight, 
but the brain tissue will help us 
understand-, treat,, and cure dis- 
ease." The three general and dis- 
ease-specific brain banks net- 
work with each other. "The most 
exciting aspect of the system," 
concludes Bird, "is how we can 
get so many scientists working on 
a disorder so quickly All they 
have to do is call for tissue." DO 



Hot on the trail of alien evils 

By Gregg Keizer 

sleuthing to 
science fiction: 
Where in Space 

Carmen Sandl- 

ego? and Electronic 

Arts' Ultrabots. 

Space may be the final fron- 
tier, but it's still a place 
where games too often 
fear to tread. Scads of Earth- 
bound computer games delve un- 
der the ground or fly in the atmos- 
phere to hunt for dragons or 
race jets through Iraqi airspace, 
but few take space even a bit se- 
riously. When one does — wheth- 
er with real science or science fic- 
tion — it's time to tear off the plas- 
tic wrap and start sticking disks 
into the PC's drive. 

A perfect example is Where in 
Space is Carmen Sandiego? Yet 
another title in Broolerbund's line 
of detective games for kids-, this 
one moves the Carmen Sandie- 
go series into the far reaches of 
the solar system. The premise. 
even the mechanics, are much 
the same as in classics such as 
Where in the World is Carmen San- 
diego?, but the scenery and char- 
acters have changed. 

Aiming for an older audience 
than did its predecessors. 
Where in Space is still a who- 
dunnit-where game of investiga- 
tion, obtuse clues, and frequent 
travel. Kids play the part of a plan- 
et-hopping sleuth tracking down 
alien criminals who've stolen piec- 
es of the solar system (a crater 
here, an asteroid there). Players 
interview witnesses, follow the ali- 
en criminal as it mean 
ders around planets and 
moons (and even to Hal- 
ley's Comet), obtain 
enough information to 

name the alien in a warrant, and 
then arrest the thing and slam it 
into Jailhouse Rock. 

To keep kids' interest, Where 
in Space relies on detailed im- 
ages of the planets and moons, 
animated constellations, digitized 
speech — in alien tongues, of 
course — and plenty of NewAge- 
likc background music. 

The shenanigans are fun for 
kids, of course, but parents will 
like the way this game slips in the 
science. A built-in database 
holds reams of information about 
the planets and their moons. 

Grownups who want to get 
right to the action won't care 
much for Carmen, but they'll 
have a hoot with Ultrabots, a new 
game steeped in science fiction. 

Set nearly four centuries in the 
future, Electronic Arts' Uitrabots 
plays to our xenophobic fears of 
alien invasion. Rather than ram- 
paging, acid-dripping insec- 
tasoids, though, the enemy 
comes in the shape of 18-meter- 

tall robotic monsters armed with 
enough weaponry to eradicate hu- 
manity. We got rid of them once 
before — with a last ditch volley of 
ancient nukes — but now they're 
back. This time, though, we're run- 
ning some robots of our own, 

From the base camp's situa- 
tion room you direct your mechan- 
ical charges, monitor the power 
network that's crucial to the ma- 
chines' survival, and conduct re- 
pairs of damaged units. In a take- 
off froni virtual reality's telepres- 
ence, you can jump into control 
of any robot at any time. 

Maps, radar screens, and visu- 
al- and thermal-imaging systems 
give you the view outside each ul- 
trabot. Directing their battles 
doesn't take fast reflexes, but it 
does take fast thinking. You click 
on numerous onscreen gizmos to 
make the robot speed up or slow 
down, turn, fire, or release a fu- 
turistic smoke screen. To simpli- 
fy things, you can program any of 
your ultrabots with one of ten au- 
tomatic settings. 

Graphically, Ultrabots is part 
stunning, part static. The scenery 
and enemy 'bots you see on the 
screen are intricately drawn, and 
on a fairly fast PC, their animation 
is fluid. What surrounds those mov- 
ing pictures — the gauges and con- 
trols of the ultrabots' interior — 
are bland in comparison. 

Needless to say, Ultrabots is 
all about combat. Until you've mas- 
tered the controls, the action wash- 
es over you like a Krakatau tidal 
wave; you'll be lucky to keep any 
of your machines alive for long. 
But with practice, and an eye on 
tactical movement, you'll blast 
these Nissan factory refugees in- 
to oblivion. All that's missing 
from Uitrabots is a network or mo- 
dem link so you can play long dis- 
tance against others. When that 
happens, you'll be on your way to 
home-based virtual reality. 

Who said science is boring? DO 

A rare missing link turns up in a museum drawer 

By Kathleen McAuliffe 

drawer: The 

mislabeled bones 

that Per E. 

Ahiberg (right), an 

Oxford University 


round in a museum 

drawer raise 

some fascinating 

questions about 

fM fQh ost fossil hunters 
I I chip away at rock or 
I If I dig deep trenches in 
the ground. Oxford University 
paleontologist Per E. Ahiberg 
made a stunning discovery a 
less arduous way: He launched 
a dig through museum drawers, 
emerging from the unorthodox ex- 
cavation with previously over- 
looked bones that represent a 
rare missing link in the transition 
of life from water to land. 

The bones had gathered dust 
at the university's museum since 
about 1860, twenty years after 
the original collector retrieved 
them from a fossil-rich cliff in Scot- 
land known as Scat Craig. The la- 
bel on the drawers told genera-, 
tions of scholars that the skeletal 
parts belonged to ancient lobe- 
finned fish. But Ahlberg's well- 
trained eyes spotted something 
else. One of the jaw bones, he no- 
ticed, bore the distinct hallmarks 
of an early tetrapod — a four- 
legged creature that developed 
sometime after lobe-finned fish 
and before the first fully terrestrial 
vertebrates. His hunch was later 
confirmed when he pulled a tell- 
tale tibia — a shin bone — from the 
collection. Since all the bones in 
those drawers had come from de- 
posits laid down during the upper- 
Devonian period — some 367 mil- 
lion years ago — the fragments 
were probably almost 10 million 
years older than any known tet- 
rapod, substantially pushing 
back the date when life in the wa- 
ter began its progression toward 
the shores. 

It's still not clear whether the tet- 
rapod parts recovered from the 
Scat Craig collection all 
from the same anirr 
less, the bones speak volumes 
about a critical juncture in natu- 
ral history. The sheer size of the 
skeletal parts presented the first 
major surprise. Scholars had 
long assumed that early tetra- 

pods had io be small, lightweight 
creatures to counter the crushing 
force of gravity on land. But 
Ahlberg's discovery tells a differ- 
ent story. The skull he turned up 
stretches nearly a foot and a half 
long, and he estimates the full 
body length of these animals to 
be about five feet. 

Assuming all of the limb bones 
belonged to the same animal, 
Ahlberg's tetrapod had well-devel- 
oped hind limbs and front limbs 
more like the fins of a fish. This 
chimera of traits suggests to 
Ahiberg thai water-dwelling organ- 
isms must have originally devel- 
oped legs for some purpose oth- 
er than walking on land. His the- 
ory flies. in the lace of convention- 
al doctrine, which maintains that 
vertebrate limbs first evolved to 
carry fish to a new source of wa- 
ter when their shallow pools be- 
gan to dry up during the upper- 
Devonian period. 

In fact, on climatic grounds 
alone, that hallowed notion now 
seems suspect. "It turns out that 
the Devonian period had mon- 
■soon weather not unlike parts of 
the Amazon," reports Jennifer 

Clack, an authority on tetrapods 
at Cambridge University. "In all 
likelihood, fish didn't get strand- 
ed in shailow pools but simply 
retreated with the water line dur- 
ing dry spells." 

So why did legs evolve? Both 
Ahiberg and Clack believe the 
hind limbs were designed to sup- 
port the animals in shailow water. 
"The first teirapods probably 
hung out in reed-choked river- 
beds and used their legs to 
grasp onto weeds on the sur- 
face," Clack explains, "Suspend- 
ed from their perches, they 
would be less inclined to create 
vibrations in the water that might 
alert prey." She points out that 
the Sargasso frog fish uses finger- 
like projections on its back fins 
for exactly that function today. In 
the view of the British research- 
ers, tetrapods probably adjusted 
to a marginal existence on the 
fringes of swamps for at least 20 
million years before embarking on 
the next major evolutionary step: 
crawling ashore with a fully devel- 
oped four-legged gait. 

These later tetrapods, of 
course, needed to breathe on 
land, but the researchers think 
they arrived well equipped. "Lobe- 
finned fish had primitive lungs for 
gulping air in oxygen-poor wa- 
ter," Ahiberg reports, "so by the 
time tetrapods appeared millions 
of years later, lungs were presuma- 
bly standard equipment." 

Ahiberg now wants to deter- 
mine the true relationship be- 
tween his tetrapod parts. To fig- 
ure out which jaw and limbs go 
together, he needs to see how 
the bones came to rest in the 
ground. His most recent excava- 
tion at Scat Craig, however, bore 
no fruit: He and some colleagues 
from the Royal Museum of Scot- 
land dug. around in a likely fossil 
site — now a woman's garden — 
and turned up plenty of fish bits 
but no new tetrapods. DQ 



An artist combines words and pictures to often startling effect 

By Judith Bell 

From a distance, one won- 
ders why such a massive 
table lacks a center- 
piece. Step closer, and the pol- 
ished wooden surface reveals 
much more than any decoration 
could. Artist Mark Tansey stands 
before the table he created and 

Mark Tansey 

explores the areas 

where text 

and illustration 

meet, often 

confounding our 


with his results, 

titled The Wheel. The wheel- 
three wheels actually — randomly 
matches subjects, verbs, and 
phrases culled from such diverse 
areas as fractal geometry, quan- 
tum physics, and politics. With a 
roulette spin of the wheels, its cre- 
ator is faced with 180 terse re- 
marks like; 

Short term investors/ensnaring/ 

the masses. 

Hermenentic traders/leveraging 


Born again nomads/maximizing/ 
power vacuum. 

The unexpected connections set 
up in these phrases have a liber- 
ating effect on Tansey, who first 
began to compile the lists of met- 
aphors and ideas while working 
as an illustrator for the New York 
Times Book Review. "The wheel 
frees the mind," says Tansey. "It's 
a generator of content — a no-end 
game that gives me a feeling of 
play and relieves me of the anxi- 
ety of what to do next. The wheel 
is an emblem of my revitalization 
of pictorial content." 

Tansey, 42, who studied at the 
Art Center College of Design in 
Los Angeles and Hunter College 
in New York, says his best edu- 

cation came from working as an 
illustrator. "I would be given a 
book or a readout of a review, 
and I had to come up with an im- 
age, If I could make a metaphor- 
ical hookup between an image 
and an idea, there was every- 
thing to do. This connection 
seemed to be what had been ex- 
iled from painting for so long. 

"Most of my paintings can, at 
first reading, be viewed within a 
range of conventional plausibili- 
ty. But there is usually a moment, 

at the edge of expectations, 
where one may notice that some- 
thing is not quite right. That's 
where the picture really begins." 

A case in point is Triumph of 
the New York School. Staged in 
the style of old battlefield 
scenes, the painting upon a clos- 
er look reveals American painters 
and critics dressed as soldiers, ac- 
cepting the surrender of the 
School of Paris with Picasso look- 
ing on in a fur coat. What seem- 
ingly began as a history painting 
becomes a sly commentary on 
the machismo that underlay the 
celebration of Abstract Expression- 
ism after World War II. 

Nor are more recent critical 
movements exempt from Tan- 
sey's irreverent explorations. Re- 
sponding to the Deconstruction- 
ist philosophy which proposed 
that literary and philosophical 
texts are self-contradictory, 
Tansey's Wheel of Content cre- 
ates its own illogical text, dem- 
onstrating that the meaning of 
any text remains elusive. In 
some of his paintings, Tansey 
takes this concept literally, as 
with Constructing the Grand Can- 
yon, where every surface of the 
enormous, craggy canyon is 
lined with random sentences. 
"What I did in these pictures that 
have text in them was question at 
what point the picture ceases to 
be textual and becomes pictorial." 

Tansey's work is the subject of 
the book Mark Tansey: Visions 
and Revisions (Harry N. Abrams, 
1992) by Arthur C. Danto. His 
first retrospective opened in 
June 1993 at the L.A. County 
Museum of Art. It will then travel 
to the Milwaukee Art Museum in 
September; the Modern Art Mu- 
seum in Fort Worth, Texas, in De- 
cember; the Museum of Fine 
Arts, Boston, in May 1994; and in 
September 1994 will finally arrive 
at the Montreal Museum of Fine 
Arts in Quebec, Canada. DO 

Polyester makes a comeback 

By Peter Callahan 

f^L s if comedians didn't 
M^JL have enough problems 
M » these days. Not only is 
Dan Quayle fading into oblivion, 
but new developments in a cer- 
tain fabric, long a target of every 
two-bit laugh hack, might make 
all their barbs obsolete. Yes, pol- 
yester is back, folks, and better 
than ever. The reason for the res- 
urrection of a fabric associated 
with the darkest days of fashion? 
Microfiber, a polyester thread 
that can mimic everything from vel- 
vet to suede, and even your tai- 
lor may not know the difference. 

"Manmade microfiber is offer- 
ing something really exciting," 
says Samuel Winchester, a pro- 
fessor at North Carolina College 
of Textiles. Gone are the disad- 
vantages of the old stuff: the 
staticky feel, the clamminess, the 
awkward way the garment 
draped the body. In fact, microfi- 
ber is fast becoming the fabric of 
choice for active and outerwear, 
like raincoats, and is making in- 
roads into high fashion as well. 

Invented by Du Pont and per- 
fected by — surprise, surprise — 


makes polyester 


correct once again— 

in outerwear 

and high fashion. 

the Japanese, microfiber technol- 
ogy is opening up a whole new 
world to designers The secret 
lies in its thinness: Microfiber is 15 
times finer than pantyhose, allow- 
ing for a whole range of uses with- 
out sacrificing any of the positive 
qualities (such as wash and 
wear) that first made polyester 
popular. "The technology has ad- 
vanced to such a degree that it 
can be made to feel like any- 
thing," says Larry Hotz, a spokes- 
man for designer Donna Karan. 
While the old polyester may 
have scored in the wrinkle depart- 
ment, "that's because it was 
made like iron," says Hotz, "and 
it looked like it. But Microfiber 
breathes like a natural fiber." 

If microfiber-based polyester 
does catch on with the public, it'll 
be an amazing comeback for 
what Du Pont dubbed a "miracle 
fabric" in the Forties and Fifties. 
"In the early Fifties, we weren't 
that far away from the hard times 
of the Thirties and the shortages 
of World War II," says Winches- 
ter, coeditor of the book Fifty 
Years of Polyester. "The mindset 
of the typical consumer was lon- 
gevity and good wear perform- 
ance, so it really had a rapid 

Then, in the mid Sixties, fiber 
producers aimed for the high 
end of the market— and the 
fashion world was never 
the same. Polyester pro- 
duced "whatever the design- 
er could imagine," Winchester 
Says. "You could form the gar- 
;nt any way you wanted to. 
You had the drug culture driving 
a wild kind of coloration, All of 
that merged together in an explo- 
sion of leisure suits." 

If leisure suits weren't enough 
to signal the demise of polyester, 
the fabric started turning up in dis- 
count stores across the country, 
in bell bottoms and double knits 
made on the cheap by mass-mar- 

ket producers. "The quality went 
way down," says Winchester. "All 
you had to do was brush up 

against something and fuzz 
would develop." 

The Seventies' "back to na- 
ture" drove the final nail into pol- 
yester's coffin. "People started eat- 
ing natural foods and getting 
away from chemical-based 
things," says Winchester, 

But just when you thought it 
was safe to go back into the 
stores,- microfiber appeared like 
a white knight to rescue these dis- 
co duds from distress. The cloth- 
ing industry hopes the public will 
soon realize what designers 
have already discovered: Polyes- 
ter made with microfiber bears lit- 
tle resemblance to the material 
nightmares were made of. 

"It's been a tough road ridding 
ourselves of the image" people 
have of polyester, says Ellen 
Sweeney of Hoechst Celanese, 
the nation's second largest pro- 
ducer of polyester. But she be- 
lieves retailers and consumers 
are slowly coming around. "I just 
came back from Europe and I 
saw it all over the stores. It's fin- 
er and more luxurious." 

Donna Karan's Hotz agrees 
that the perception of polyester 
as a fabric for the loser is bound 
to shift. "People buy a microfiber 
coat and don't realize it's polyes- 
ter, and they probably would hes- 
itate to buy it if they knew." 

David Wolfe, a fashion forecast- 
er with the Doneger Group, 
thinks the development of microfi- 
ber means more than just a reha- 
bilitation for polyester: It signals 
a whole new course in the cloth- 
ing industry. "Microfiber is the 
first generation of what we're go- 
ing to see in the future," he pre- 
dicts. There's going to be a lot of 
high-tech 'test-tube' textiles. A dec- 
ade from now, we'll all have ward- 
robes made out of fabrics that 
don't even exist today." DO 


What do we mean when we talk about "science"? 

By Robert K. J. Killheffer 


The word science gets 
tossed around in the pop- 
ular press and in daily 
conversation, and we all assume 
we know roughly what we mean 
when we use it. Asked to define 
it, we might mention reasoned 
problem solving, mumble some- 
thing about the experimental meth- 
od, maybe drop some other ill- 
defined term like "skepticism" or 
"theory." We could describe sol- 
emn researchers in white coats 
and sterile labs. We might even 
recall some names — Newton, Ein- 
stein, Hawking, Feynman. 

But such fumbling about 
would go to show that "science" 

is a remarkably loose term, and 
it's wise to step back now and 
then to consider what it means. 
Luckily, a number of insightful writ- 
ers have offered informative 
books which, especially when tak- 
en as a group, provide a medita- 
tion on the nature and practice of 
what we call science. 

Anthony Aveni's Conversing 
with the Planets (Times Books, 
1992) studies the astrological sys- 
tems of various ancient civiliza- 
tions to reveal a core of scientific 

knowledge at the heart of stories 
that appear, to the modern eye, 
wholly mythological. He finds in 
tales of the goddess Venus (also 
called Ishtar, Inanna, Hoku-loa, 
and other names) reflections of 
the ancient astronomers' careful 
observations of the planet's ap- 
parent movement through the 
sky. Though the details of that mo- 
tion can be hard to visualize 
through Aveni's text alone, he 
makes a persuasive argument 
that the basis of science is pre- 
cise observation of the natural 
world and an attempt to relate its 
parts in some systematic way — 
and that the ancient Greek, Ma- 
yan, and Babylonian astronomer/ 
astrologers were thus, in their 
own cultural contexts, beginning 
the process that has led to our 
own attempts to plumb the se- 
crets of the cosmos. 

During the late classical and 
medieval periods, thinkers pre- 
ferred to rely on the authority of 
ancient writers such as Aristotle 
and Euclid rather than modifying 
or correcting those antique theo- 
ries with further observation of 
their own. In New Vforlds, Ancient 
Texts (Belknap/Harvard Universi- 
ty Press, 1992), Anthony Grafton 
shows how this book-based learn- 
ing was replaced by a renewed 
interest in the direct study of na- 
ture. Renaissance voyages to dis- 
tant lands brought back first- 
hand information that contradict- 
ed the ancient writers, sowing the 
seeds of the scientific revolution. 
Profusely illustrated, Grafton's 
book (with sections by April 
Shelford and Nancy Siraisi) trac- 
es the reemergence of scientific 
inquiry and plots the courses it 
took into early modern times. 

R. A. Buchanan picks up the 
story with The Power of the Ma- 
chine (Viking, 1993), examining 
the applications of scientific re- 
search in the form of technology 
from roughly 1700 through the 

present. Concentrating on the cen- 
turies of greatest change (the 
eighteenth and nineteenth), Bu- 
chanan offers an excellent survey 
of society's transformation by the 
forces of industrialization, and he 
refreshingly avoids a simplistic 
invention-by-invention chronolo- 
gy, emphasizing at every turn the 
diverse factors, such as econom- 
ics and patent laws, that influ- 
enced the process. 
- Which carries us' to our own 
time and to as intelligent an ac- 
count of twentieth-century sci- 
ence as we could ask: Steven 
Weinberg's Dreams of a Final The- 
ory (Pantheon, 1993). Focusing 
on physics as the most fundamen- 
tal of the sciences, Weinberg fol- 
lows the quest for the deepest un- 
derlying explanation, a theory 
that will unify the elements of quan- 
tum mechanics, gravitation, rela- 
tivity, and more. Along the way, 
he gives a crash course in the na- 
ture of scientific inquiry, examin- 
ing the meaning of its "explana- 
tions" and the aesthetic principle 
behind many of its theories. This 
may be the best popular science 
book of the year. 

Finally, Arthur N. Strahler's Un- 
derstanding Science (Promethe- 
us, 1992) provides a more ex- 
haustive and academic study of 
the subject, from basic concepts 
and vocabularies to the differ- 
ence between science and pseu- 
dosciences such as astrology 
and creationism. Prometheus of- 
fers a couple of other titles of re- 
lated interest: The Struggle to Un- 
derstand by Herbert C. Corben 
(1991), a history of scientific dis- 
covery and thought, and Milton A. 
Rothman's The Science Gap 
(1992), a lively look at misconcep- 
tions about the methods and pur- 
poses of science. 

Armed with these books, you 
can easily escape such common 
misconceptions. So read them — 
any good scientist would. DO 



You can heal some of the people "all of the time, or ... ? 

By Tom Dworetzky 

Why should a 
drug approved for 
human patients 
cost more than the 
identical sub- 
stance approved lor 
veterinary use? 

□ nee, when I was bo:lcm 
feeding in the econom- 
ic seas, I found myself 
in the emergency room of a pub- 
lic hospital with a health-insur- 
anceless friend who had thrown 
his back out while pulling a mo- 
tor from a pickup. As he was mere- 
ly in excruciating pain but not 
bleeding, hallucinating, or in an- 
other way deserving of prompt 
care, he took his place at the end 
of the list. This is called triage. 

That was over a dec- 
ade ago, but for the 37 mil- 
lion people with no 
health coverage, this emer- 
gency-room scene could 
be yesterday— and today 
and tomorrow, too. To ad- 
dress this deplorable sit- 
uation, the country is now 
pondering some form of 
universal health care. But 
we have a problem: With 
apologies to Abraham Lin- 
coln, you can heal some 
of the people all of the 
time or all of the people 
some of the time. 

The United States- was 
founded on the myth of to- 
tal equality, but reality is 
and always will be two- 
tiered. The haves have 
more than the have-nots 
in all things — including 
medical care. What then 
to do? First, acknowledge 
reality with plans .such as 
the one in progress in Oregon 
that rations health care. (That's 
triage, or using limited resources 
where they stand the best 
chance of doing good.) 

Next, we should turn our atten- 
tion to creating a bill of health- 
care rights, a reasonable safety 
net to which everyone is entitled 
and guaranteed by law. Again, 
this entails a form of triage. What 
should be covered and guaran- 
teed? My list, somewhat arbitrary, 
perhaps, and open for modifica- 

tion, includes family planning; pre- 
natal and child-birth care; child 
care; preventive and emergency 
care for all adults; treatment for 
illnesses for which there are prov- 
en cures; humane but modest 
management of other diseases 
through ihe creation of small walk- 
in clinics, hospices, and halfway 
houses that substitute for more 
expensive hospitals. 

Certainly I've left out many ail- 
ments and conditions, and to ad- 

dress those we need additional 
tiers of insurance coverage that 
you can buy if you're able to. 
This kind of primary national in- 
surance (bid out to insurance com- 
panies) could provide middle- 
level, middle-class-affordable ad- 
ditional coverage. And then there 
should also be a private, total- 
care package approximating the 
kind of treatment you get if you're 
rich. It should cost accordingly. 
To pay for the safety net, we 
should examine the rationale be- 

hind treatment costs and Eh- 
causes of health damage. Tru 
health-care industry should re- 
spond to regulation akin to that ap- 
plied to any other public utility. 
This doesn't mean arbitrary caps 
on prices and other anti-free- 
market devices per se, but 
does recognize that the semireg- 
ulation now practiced in health 
care (such as licenses and FDA 
approvals to operate) has already 
restricted market freedom. It 
does mean the industry 
will have to show us— the 
public — why It needs a 
price increase. Why 
should an identical drug 
cost substantially more in 
the United States than in 
any other country? 

* Regulation of goods 
and services, however, is 
not one-sided. One of the 
biggest costs is medical 
liability coverage. To 
bring health-care costs 
under control, we must 
bring liability costs under 
control as well. Some 
form of arbitration with 
caps on liability awards 
must accompany any med- 
ical-care price controls. 

Another form of cost 
managemeni is to create 
ways for providers and 
recipients to pay off their 
expenses by working in 
some type of public ca- 
pacity. Doctors incur serious ed- 
ucational debts they can work off 
at clinics in areas where quality 
health care is in short supply. Pa- 
tients could pay for some elective 
treatments by working in a hos- 
pital or other public capacity. 

By adding this notion of respon- 
sibility to the health-care equa- 
tion, we can ensure adequate min- 
imum care for all. But to do this, 
we must stop pretending that 
everyone can get the very best, 
that life is not two-tiered. DO 



Linking the global airwaves 

By Byron Poole 

□ riving across country 
can be therapeutic — un- 
til the tape selection 
grows slim and you're lett search- 
ing the radio dial for a semiau- 
dible station. With the latest ad- 
vancements in digital radio, how- 
ever, you'll soon be able to pick 
up a station on the West Coast 
and listen to it all the way to 
Rhode Island — commercial free. 

This revolution in the way we lis- 
ten to radio is taking three paths: 
cable lines (that send signals to 
state-of-the-art digital converter/ 
receivers provided by your local 
cable company), satellite, and "In 
Band On Channel." 

Pioneering the idea of satellites 
in digital radio broadcasting, DC- 
based CD Radio Inc. (who recent- 
ly joined forces with the 4-billion- 
dollar aerospace company 
Loral) is anxious to hit national air- 
waves but is waiting for the 
ahead from the Federal CommU' 
nications Commission (FCC) 
Once the company is licensed 
and the three-year process 
building the satellite is complete, 
listeners will be able to pick up 
the signal no matter how far they 
are from a city. 

Despite local broadcasters' at- 
tempts to slow the switch to digi- 
tal radio, David Margolese, CD Ra- 
dio Inc.'s CEO, believes the trans- 
formation can't be stopped. "If we 
had that situation in America, ob- 
viously we'd still be driving hors- 
es and buggies." 

If you can't beat 'em, develop 
your own technology, Soon, local 
broadcasters will also go digital, 
thanks largely to USA Digital's de- 
velopment of a method for sta- 
tions to transmit digitally within 
their already licensed spectrums. 
In Band On Channel, or IBOC, en- 
ables a station to send both its 
present signal and a digital one 
simultaneously without clogging 
up the airwaves. This is essential 
in the transition the listening pub- 

lic will have to make from current 
radios to ones necessary to re- 
ceive the digital signal. 

If listeners' response to digital 
radio ottered through the cable 
lines is any indication, we may nev- 
er hear the warm hum of static 
again. Subscriptions for the two 
leaders in the cable radio field al- 
ready exceed 20 million. 

Digital Cable Radio (DCR) of 
Hatboro, Pennsylvania, which 
formed a partnership in January 
with Time Warner Cable, the na- 
tion's second largest cable-tel- 

ing doctor's offices, McDonalds, 
and the Tacoma Dome. 

What better way to take broad- 
casting into the twenty-first cen- 
tury than by replacing the human 
DJ with a hand-held remote? 
DMX is the first company to intro- 
duce such a device. Called the 
DMX-DJ, the remote prints out in- 
formation, such as record label 
and artist, in an LCD window. 

DCR followed up with a univer- 
sal remote that not only scrolls 
across song information, but al- 
lows users to control their VCRs, 

evision operator, will make 78 dig- 
ital radio channels available to its 
subscribers within the next year. 
Tom Oliver, president of DCR's 
competition, Digital Music Ex- 
press (DMX), based in Los Ange- 
les, says that through fiber optics 
and advances in compression 
equipment, more channels can 
be squeezed into the spectrum 
bandwidth — which translates in- 
to an enormous amount of pro- 
gramming potential. 

And selection is precisely 
what these companies plan to 
give you. DMX has taken the 
leap into commercial establish- 
ments with more than 3,000 busi- 
nesses now subscribing, includ- 

CD players, and cable boxes. By 
next year, it should provide 
sports fans the ultimate luxury — 
a sports ticker that runs across 
with all the current statistics. And 
within a few more years, the re- 
mote will have interactive capa- 
bilities with your TV set, allowing 
you to block out the screen and 
pull up lyrics to the song you're 
listening to or watch news wires 
or financial tickers. 

Digital radio is on the take. The 
BBC intends to begin digital broad- 
casting by the mid 1990s, while 
the cable companies continue to 
spread over the entire globe 
with programmers already in Can- 
ada, Holland, and Australia. 00 



Trying to answer the ultimate modern question. Plus, teaching sea lions to 

spy on whales, and making internal organs out of sponges 

Imagine, if you will, a world without 
window screens. In this pre-1910 
world, insects circulate freely 
through the house, so you might as 
well sit on your front porch on a sum- 
mer evening talking to your neigh- 
bors, Then someone invents win- 
dow screens. Later, someone else 
invents air conditioning and, of 
course, television, and voila — a 
drastic decline in porch sitting. As 
Americans withdraw into their sepa- 
rate homes to watch Jeopardy! 
with the air conditioner up high, 
neighbors become strangers and 
community becomes a dim memory. 

This is the sort of technological 
. fallout that Loka Institute of Am- 
herst, Massachusetts, would have 
you ponder, (In Sanskrit, loka 
means "unity of the world, intercon- 
nectedness of society.") "When a 
panel of experts discusses the im- 
pact of different technologies on 
our lives," says Loka's executive 
director Richard Sclove, "they ad- 
dress safety, health, or environmen- 
tal con sequences— not the large range of cultural effects and 
the ways that technologies help structure and restructure 
political relationships." 

What effect do faxes have on a culture? How do cellular 
phones affect the quality of one's mental life? Do computer 
networks foster community or subvert it? Does cable televi- 
sion empower the citizenry? 

"I'm convinced these questions won't be addressed un- 
til there's a wide diversity of laypeople who play a major 
role in decisions about technology," says Sclove. At present, 
the technological universe we inhabit is created by hundreds 
of corporate decisions made behind closed doors. By the 
time the public gets a peek at the latest '-wonders, vast 
sums have already been committed, and it's too late in the 
game to say no. You might argue that John Q. Public can 
cast his "vote" In the marketplace simply by deciding wheth- 
er to buy a videogame set, a fax machine, or a cellular 
phone. But, says Sclove, "you can't do anything about the 
collective consequences of other people's purchases. You 
can decide not to have a TV, but if all your neighbors have 
TV, you can't form a community by yourself. Suppose, on the 
other hand, you prohibited all broadcasts and video rentals 

every Thursday evening from six to 
nine. It would be interesting to see 
the social consequences." 

Once a technology is estab- 
lished, an irreversible social proc- 
ess may be set in motion that 
ends up coercing the consumer in- 
to buying a fax machine, for exam- 
ple — "because if you don't have 
one, you're out of the system and 
you pay a penalty." Sclove insists 
that the public must enter the tech- 
nology-evaluation process at the re- 
search-and-development phase, 
before billions of dollars have 
been spent. Yet Sclove acknowledg- 
es that current corporate-trade- 
secret laws would bar this sort of 
public scrutiny. 

Do not take Sclove for a Luddite 
who yearns for the good old days 
when there was no television. "I'm 
not antitechnology," he insists, "but 
decisions about technology are too 
important to be left up to experts — 
scientists, engineers, CEOs — who 
lead very privileged lives." 
Alas, nowhere on Earth is there a fully evolved model of 
the sort of grass-roots technology review Sclove envisions, 
though Europe can boast a few promising attempts. In Hol- 
land, "science shops," associated with universities, have 
sprung up to provide community groups with technological 
information — for example, whether the smoke released by 
the nearby factory is blighting their vegetables, Ten years 
ago in England, an even more ambitions scheme of "tech- 
nology networks" was nipped in the bud by the Thatcher gov- 
ernment. But the community most alert to the long-range cul- 
tural implications of technology is the Amish. 'The Amish have 
tried out different things — calculators, computers, tractors. 
Liking the slower pace, many Amish communities decided 
not to use tractors, for example, for plowing fields, but they 
did adopt them as portable generators." 

If the rest of us were to bring this degree of foresight to 
new technologies, Sclove wonders, would we be so rah- 
rah about such sexy newcomers as nanotechnology and vir- 
tual reality (both of which Sclove believes are potentially al- 
ienating)? Would we decide that computer networks were 
authentic communities or a perverted simulacrum? 




At the Long Marine Laborato- 
ry in Santa Cruz, California, 
sea lions are being trained to 
complete tasks a little more 
complicated than balancing 
balls on their noses. 
Researchers are teaching 
the animals to follow whales 
in the open sea and capture 
their secrets on videotape. 
University of California biolo- 
gist Daniel Costa, a sea-lion 
expert, and James Harvey, a 
whale authority from San 
Jose State University, con- 
ceived the project, and the 
training is administered by 
graduate student Jenifer 
Zeligs, who has also worked 
with monkeys, birds, bears, 
dogs, and seals. "Almost all 
animals are trainable," she 
says. "It's just a question of 
knowing how to do it." 

To begin the project, 
Zeligs got the sea lions 
accustomed to wearing a 
harness with a videocamera 
mounted to it, "It takes a 
while for them to get used to 
wearing anything," she says, 
"kind of like getting kids used 
to the idea of clothes." Then 
she instructed her pupils to 
swim parallel to humans. "It's 
the same behavior as 
teaching a dog to heel," 
Zeligs explains. 

Currently, she's teaching 
them to swim parallel with 
just about anything— boats, 
whale models, and real-live 

Just when whales least 
expect it, they'll bt 
on Sea Lion Candid . 

whales. The sea lions must 
assume the right position 
while tracking the whales "or 
else the videocamera might 
get a twenty-minute film of 
the middle of a whale, which 
wouldn'l be too illuminating," 
Zeligs says. 

Costa and Harvey picked 
sea lions for the job because 
they swim faster than whales. 
Since they're a natural part of 
the marine environment, the 
researchers hope their pres- 
ence won't disturb the 
whales' behavior. As to what 
mysteries the sea lions may 
uncover, Zeligs says, "We 
know so little about whales; 
it's hard to know what to look 
for." When the study is 
comolcled a year or two from 
now, "we might have a better 
idea of what to study." 

—Steve Nadis 


* Jm 


it - 'H : , . -m 

Most <-c:,-;i'«S :i:S! 3:i V':ero. :::«.: the- 

se 'doing- noih.-,.,..o-i'-^;ve. 

NpnSeents rocks, however, heir. 

clean' the air' " 


air-acting tne positive side 


Ol' !'■'.. .'■ ■:.' n ilOS. 

What's hardas a rock but 

odors are highly polarized." 

absorbs like a sponge? It 

Philpot explains. 'When 

may sound like a riddle; but ■ 

they gel near tne surface of 

its NonScents. 

:i e rock iii ■■■ i -h m 

Mere accurately, a 

NonScents rocks have 

Houston company called 

. stripped more than 60 ' 

NonScents markets a rock 

different kinds of slinks and 

of She sunlit: name -a 

■stenches from places as 

clifiQpi:!oi;ie zeolite, cr a 

diverse as hospitals, locker 

— iiiG-al forced from the 

rooms, spice factories, and 

crystallization oi volcanic 

crack houses. For the las'. 

ash— thai can draw odor? 

'three years, they've kepi 

out of the atmosphere. The. 

under control the daunting 

company':; founder Dear: 

smell ■produced' by the. : 

Philpot, stumbled into 

' 6,'600 animals gathered at 

ihe business while experi- 

HousTon's annual Livestock ■ 

menting with zeolite. ■ 

'' Show and Rodeo. They've 

"One of ;he first things 

also proved a boon io 

i observed was its affnty 


for ammonia." he says. 

pie. who put NonScents n 

The rock removes odors 

their homes' to remove the " : 

, by adsorption, a process in 

■strong odors that ean 

which molecules of foul- 

emanate from new carpe:- 

smelling gas lock onto its 

.g : ■<■■ : S li. 1. . " ■ 

honeycombed surface. Ao- 

oer. and pesticides. 

sorptidn itseii is accorrv 

When the rock, can 

' plished by the attraction of 

adsorb no "iore odors, it 


can be recycled— sort or. 1! 

■es, which- most people have 

placed ouiOoors, -1 will 


release the odors it's 

, . . electricity. Zeolites are 

captured, and :hen "i can 

■;-; : ■. ..negatively charged, ■ 

be : reusedl — Alice Naude ■ 


Some scientists search for 
the secret to life extension in 
miracle drugs, exotic diets, 
and exercise routines, but 
epidemiologist R. G. Wilkin- 
son has found that it lies 
mostly in your bottom line. 

After analyzing data from 
19 developed countries, 
Wilkinson, a senior research 
fellow at the University of 
Sussex in England, discov- 
ered that life expectancy is 
related to income disc cutior 
rather than economic growth. 
Once gross national product 
has passed $5,000 a year, 
further increases in wealth 
make little difference to 
health. What does matter, 
however, is the way a country 
distributes its wealth: The 

"Japan is the most 
sgaliiarian of the 
coup ".lies. : Wilkinson says, 
and its population lives 
longer than any other. Life- 
spans in the United States 
and the United Kingdom, to 
the contrary, have deteriorat- 






more income equality, the 
■greater the life expectancy. 

Many studies have shown, 
Wilkinson says, that the 
provision of health care 
actually has little to do with 
life expectancy. Ninety-five 
percent of the causes of 
death and "almost all 
measures of illness show 
higher rates in the lower 
classes," according to Wilkin- 
son. And surprisingly, in- 
come redistribution seems to 
benefit the health of as much 
as 60 percent of the 
populations of most devel- 
oped countries. 

ed as income differences 
have widened. 

So what role does 
medicine play? We put vast 
amounts of money into it, 
Wilkinson argues, and get 
very little return in life 
expectancy because medi- 
cine can do relatively little to 
cure heart disease, cancer, 
and stroke. "Medicine |ust 
provides a better quality of 
life," he says. 

—Paul McCarthy 

"A full cup must be carried 
carefully, " 

— English Proverb 


A team of doctors and 

engineers at Harvard Medi- 
cal School and the Massa- 
chusetts Institute of Technol- 
ogy have come up with a 
technique that creates an 
artificial liver using a rather 
unlikely item: a sponge. 

Patients with disorders 
such as metabolic disease or 
some forms of cirrhosis, 
which can lead to liver failure, 
have in the past had to rely 
on transplants of whole or 
parts of livers. But a shortage 
of donated organs inspired 
the Harvard-MIT team to look 
for something better — or at 
cast less problematic. So 
they've come up with a 
technique in which they im- 
plant a biodegradable 
polyester sponge onto a 
membrane near the imesiine 
that carries blood to the liver. 
Surrounding blood vessels 
soon grow into the sponge, 
and the doctors then inject : ~ 
wr.h healthy liver cells, if all 
goes well, these implanted 

cells take over some of the 
liver's functions. 

So far, surgeon Joseph 
Vacanti of Harvard has 
tested this artificial liver in 
rats and pigs. In rats with an 
onzyne ds"ic eicy that led to 
a disease similar to a form of 
human jaundice, the artificial 
liver corrected the deficien- 
cy. In such studies, the 
implanted cells survived for 
at least a year. In more 
recent tests with pigs, the 
implanted cells "took," and 
Vacanti's team is now 
determining if those cells are 
working as they should. If 
their work continues to go 
well, the researchers will 
contemplate human trials, 
using liver cells donated by 
patients' close relatives. 
Although he as yet has no 
firm timetable, : 'We'll begin 
human testing as soon as we 
possibly can," Vacanti says. 
— Bill Lawren 

"Never read a book 
through merely because 
you have started it. " 

—John Witherspoon 

When liver ceils are damaged, doctors must perform a whole a 
partial liver transplant. A sponge could change that 




Look! A strange light! Is it a 
UFO from outer space? No, 
it's electricity from the earth. 

John Derr, a geophysicist 
with the U.S. Geological 
Survey in Albuquerque, New 
Mexico, has determined that 
the phenomena glimpsed in 
many UFO sightings may 
actually be balls of electricity 
related to earthquakes. Derr 
and Michael Pensinger, a 
professor at Laurentian 
University in Ontario, Cana- 
da, tapped into a database 
of UFO sightings compiled 
by the Center for UFO 
Studies and cross-correlated 
the sightings with reports of 
seismic activity. "When we 
started looking at it area by 
area, certain patterns began 
to emerge," he says. 

For example, residents of 
New Mexico reported UFO 
sightings in 1951 and 1952 
within 1 60 miles of the 
epicenters of three temblors 
measuring 4 to 5 on the 
Richter scale that occurred 
less than a year later. 

"Earthquake lights" tend to 
be basketball-sized globes 
of glowing electricity generat- 
ed by crushing rock or 
changes in ground-water 
flow related to underground 
pressure. They can appear 

activity preceded the 
' ' 19 San Francisco 

for months before and 
months after earthquakes. 

"Sightings that can best 
be explained as earthquake 
lights are objects seen at 
ground level or objects in the 
sky that have a discontinu- 
ous path," Derr explains. 
"Our statistics suggest that 
eighty percent of such 
sightings could be geophysi- 
cal in origin." 

"There's been a lot of 
anecdotal information regard- 
ing electrical phenomena 


and earthquakes, but I 
haven't seen anything that 
really documents it very 
well," says Jim Mori, a 
seismologist with the Geolog- 
ical Survey in Pasadena, 
California. "During the June 
1992 earthquakes in Los 
Angeles, there was a lot of 
arcing of electrical transform- 
ers. Certainly those aren't 
earthquake lights, but in 
some situations, it may 
provide a good explanation 
of what people saw, 
However, in the 1989 San 
Francisco quake, some 
electromagnetic waves were 
recorded minutes before it 
started." — Don Vaughari 


about what Freedom's. 


ventilation system would 


generate — wafts through 

the cabin,, flames could 

Fire poses one of the most 

spread as fast in near 

serious threats to. a crew 

weightlessness as they do 

living in the confines of a 

under normal gravity. 

spacecraft or space sta- 

Researchers expected thai 

tion. That's why NASA 

air movement in the cabin 

researcher's want to know 

would supplement the influx 

as much as possible about 

of oxygen usually provided 

how fire behaves in space, 

by buoyant flows, but the 

particularly on the planned 

strength of the effect 

Space Station Freedom. 

surprised them, according 

Experiment; on SKyiah in 

to NASA aerospace engi- 

1974 found that fires in 

neer Robert Friedman, who 

orbiting spacecraft spread 

Gautions that much more 

only one-tenth to one-half 

experimentation is needed. 

as fast as they do on Earth. 

The research findings 

Under normal gravity, 

could affect several as- 

hot — and thus lighter — 

pects of Freedom's design, 

combustion gases flow 

including the proposed 

upward, and fresh, oxygen- 

carbOn-dicxici;- fire-ex: n- 

rich air is pulled in to 

guishing system. The pipes 

replace them, fueling the 

leading from the supply 

fire. But in space, where 

tanks to the discharge 

there is no "up"— and no 

outlets are normally filled 

corresponding buoyant 

with air. The- initial rush of 

flows— the lighter gases 

that air from the pipes 

don't rise, and fresh oxygen 

before the carbon dioxide 

Isn't drawn in as quickly. 

emerges, however, might 

Those experiments, how- 

briefly accelerate the blaze 

ever, were conducted in still 

because of the air velocity's 

air. Now, drop-tower work 

strong influence in iow 

at NASA Lewis Research 

gravity. — Ted Scala 

Center in Cleveland, Ohio, 

suggests that when a 

7- to 20-centimeter- j*S^ 

per-second ^juSBi 

breeze — «40$L : M. 



Good news for the 87 million 
Americans susceptible lo the 
blistering rash and painful 
itching of poison ivy: 
Researchers from the Univer- 
sity of Mississippi's Research 
Institute of Pharmaceutical 
Sciences have come up with 
a vaccine for the nasty stuff. 

Ivtehmoud A. ElSohly, E. 
Sue Watson, and C. W. 
Waller began their quest 
some 20 years ago search- 
ing initially for an oral 
medication because, at the 
time, most pharmaceutical 
companies believed consum- 
ers wouldn't accept a 
poison-ivy vaccine that had 
to be injected in a doctor's 
office. The researchers never 
found an oral vaccine and 
eventually began experiment- 
ing with intermuscular injec- 
tions to counteract the effects 
of urushiols, the oily chemical 
compounds secreted by the 
leaves of poison ivy, oak, and 
sumac plants. 

ElSohly developed proce- 
dures to assay the different 

32 OMNI 

molecular variations of urushi- 
ols, first isolating and then 
synthesizing them, a feat that 
enabled Watson to unravel 
the rash-producing proper- 
ties of each molecule. The 
scientists created less toxic 
forms of urushiol, producing 
chemical variants that the 
body can convert into active 
compounds which lead to 
tolerance instead of a rash. 
"One injection may either 
e i rnin ate sensitvity or reduce 
ii grossly for a full season," 
says ElSohly, adding that lab 
tests on guinea pigs 
produced no side effects. 
The institute is negotiating 
with a pharmaceutical com- 
pany to license the product, 
but the vaccine may not get 
Food and Drug Admini- 
stration approval for at least 
three years. — George Nobbe 

"To his dog, every man is 

Napoleon; hence 

the popularity of dogs." 

— Aldous Huxley 

"Cities, like cats, will reveal 
themselves at night. " 

— Rupert Brooke 


excitement that comes with 


being able to control and 


explore the worlds they 

design," says Trevor Pem- 

Students at West Denton 

berton, the teacher direct- 

High School in Newcastle 

ing the project. "One of our 

upon Tyne, England, now 

sixth formers has just 

can escape the classroom 

created a Renaissance city 

without leaving their seats. 

from a set of original 

Their school is a test bed 


for Europe's first school- 

Through the VR project, 

based virtual -reality project, 

the school can also provide 

enabling students to create 

a service to the community. 

virtual worlds on the 

Tyne and Wear Develop- 

computer screen. 

ment, a local company, 

■In a VR program called 

commissioned the students 

Dangerous Workplace, for 

to create a model of a 

example, the screen be- 

multimillion-dollar building 

comes a factory floor. A 

project to be sited on the 

library of computer images 

River Tyne. "The three- 

from the workshops of local 

dimensional model was 

engineering firm NEI Par- 

more powerful than a 

sons furnishes the factory. 

conventional model in 

Students design factories 

helping us resolve con- 

from scratch, with hearth 

cerns about how the public 

and safety rules in mind, 

would perceive the river- 

Then, using a tracker-ball 

side development," ex- 

control, they explore the 

plains Philip Round, the 

environment they've creat- 

company's public-relations 

ed, driving virtual lathes 

officer. "It's certainly helped 

and forklift trucks. 

our planning." 

"Students experience the 

— Susan Aldridge 

Students at a high school in England use virtual reality to create 

and explore various environments. 

ti:~ • 


ft ■"^r 

■ ^^^^H^ ^^a** 

Gp ^ 

lll& "■' ■■-... ._-:V- 


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'9l m \ ut as time went on, he became discouraged. "1 got 
| rather dejected about it," Marsden says. "I was think- 
| ing, well, maybe it did already come and go. I was los- 
§ J/ ing faith in it myself." 

| Then one night in late September, an amateur as- 
| tronomer named Tsuruhiko Kiuchi packed up his gear 
I and drove to a parking lot on Yatsugatake Mountain, 
tlinJl 1 some three hours outside of Tokyo. "From eight to 
twelve it was kind of foggy," says Kiuchi who by day runs a 
small manufacturing business. "So I was having coffee in 
the car and taking naps. But when the fog lifted, I got wide 
awake and serious." 

With a pair of high-powered Fujinon binoculars, Kiuchi be- 
gan sweeping the sky one section at a time. Like all prac- 
ticed comet hunters, he has memorized the sky and can teil 
if something new appears. At a little past 3 a.m., Kiuchi picked 
up an unusual object near the Big Dipper that looked like a 
smoky-colored blob. When finally it moved, he knew this was 
no comet impostor, but the real thing. "I felt so lucky; I 

alerting them to any significant changes in the sky, 

In the 1960s, amateurs watching occultations (eclipses) 
of stars helped NASA more precisely pinpoint the position 
of the moon in order to guide the space agency in landing 
spacecraft there. In 1990, an amateur in New Mexico was 
the first to pick up a small disturbance on Saturn that would 
eventually grow into an extraordinary storm three times the 
size of Earth. Amateur astronomers were also first to spot 
the last five dust-storms on Mars. And in March, a Spanish 
amateur discovered a new supernova — the brightest stellar 
explosion to be seen in the Northern Hemisphere— beating 
out the professionals and a! least one major observatory 
whose automatic system failed. 

In a few specialities — most notably planetary and stellar 
astronomy — professionals and amateurs actually work close- 
ly together, almost in teams. If, for example, scientists want 
to monitor particular activity on a planet or study fluctuating 
stars, they'll contact large amateur groups to go out and col- 
lect thousands of observations. "I owe my Ph.D. to an 

couldn't believe it. I went home and woke up my wife and 
son." Later that morning, the National Observatory in Tokyo 
sent out a message in typical understated Japanese style: 
"This is maybe Swift-Tuttle." A few hours later, the pros con- 
firmed it: After 130 years, Swift-Tuttle was back. 

Kiuchi is just one of thousands of amateurs who patrol the 
sky each night. These unpaid sky watchers discover one- 
third of all new comets as well as many asteroids, novas, 
and supernovas. On the basis of amateur reports, profes- 
sionals quickly move into action; they stop giant research 
telescopes in places like Mt. Kea in Hawaii and Serro Tolelo 
in Chile and swing them around for a closer look. 

There is so much going on in the sky at any given time 
that professional astronomers can't possibly cover the 
whole field, and amateurs are still able to make valuable con- 
tributions. While they can't tackle basic research questions 
about how the universe was formed or how its stars or gal- 
axies actually work, they do make many of the first sight- 
ings in astronomy — especially in our solar system and gal- 
axy—and act as kind of advance guards for professionals, 

36 OMNI 

amateur who would phone me at 4:30 in the morning to tell 
me what was happening with the star I was following with 
an x-ray satellite," reports France Cordova, chair of the as- 
tronomy and astrophysics department at Pennsylvania 
State University. 

"Amateurs are practically at the level of professionals who 
do full-time research and teaching," says Peter Stockman, 
deputy director of the Hubble Space Telescope. "They of- 
ten have ideas that aren't in vogue with professional astron- 
omers but can be just as meaningful and important." In 
fact, amateurs are so valued that a few have been reward- 
ed with research time on Hubble. Seventeen precious view- 
ing hours were given over to amateurs last year in gratitude 
for their "decades of valuable assistance." Honored ama- 
teurs have already done sophisticated research, such as look- 
ing for frost formation on lo, one of Jupiter's moons. 

A Love Affair 

A love of the stars and the sky is the one thing amateurs all 
share in common. The word amateur actually comes from 

the Latin amator, meaning lover. It may begin in childhood 
when someone looks up at a country sky and is suddenly 
bedazzled, by thousands of stellar gems sprinkled across the 
heavens. The beauty of the sight creates a sense of wonder 
about the universe and often the desire for a first telescope. 
"I remember around the age of eight, saving up money to 
buy a small refractor," says Sam Storch, an avid amateur 
from North Merrick, New York, "then waiting with my tongue 
hanging out for the mailman to come." 

Like many of the estimated 300,000 amateurs in the United 
States, Sam belongs to an observing club near his home. 
At the Astronomical Society of Long Island, members get 
together each week to discuss the best ways of building 
their own scopes, the tricks to observing deep-sky objects, 
and the dreaded disease called "aperture fever." (If you 
have a six-inch telescope, you always want an eight-inch; if 
you a have an eight-inch, you want a nine-inch, and so on.) 
It's like a lodge meeting that crosses ail social barriers, 
where an obstetrician, insurance salesperson, and garbage 

The Comet Hunters 

Comet hunting is the most competitive area in amateur as- 
tronomy, because these are the only discoveries actually 
named after their finders. "I get upset every time there's a 
comet found and my name isn't on it," says Howard Brewing- 
ton, an accomplished amateur with four comets to his cred- 
it. In fact, shortly after losing a comet find to Kiuchi back in 
1990, Brewington left his home state of South Carolina — 
where he felt poor weather conditions were hurting his chanc- 
es of being a world-class contender — and moved out to the 
clearer and darker skies of a remote little town called 
Cloudcroft, New Mexico. 

Since that time, Brewington, who runs a small TV and VCR 
repair shop, has built a small observatory on top of a moun- 
tain peak 7,500 feet above sea level. Instead of having to 
drive 20 miles for good comet viewing, he now walks just 
100 feet to use one of two telescopes specially designed 
for comet work. Brewington made his scopes — 8-inch and 
16-inch models— completely by himself, right down to hand 

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collector all go out for coffee. Together they reminisce 
about the subtle color changes in a recent lunar eclipse and 
make plans to observe the following night when the tem- 
perature is expected to go below freezing. 

And once a year, many amateurs make a pilgrimage to 
Vermont to attend Stellafane, a huge "star party" held every 
August, There, enthusiasts show off their largest homemade 
telescopes and spend the night searching for favorite sky 
objects such as M 51— a spiral galaxy connected by a 
bridge of stars to another galaxy. "Stellafane 'is like a Sixties 
happening of astronomy and telescope nuts," says Storch. 
"It's an observing free-for-all, an equipment-building frenzy, 
a place to exchange ideas and meet new friends," 

But for an amateur to actually make new discoveries in 
astronomy, there comes a point at which he or she must go 
beyond star parties and club meetings to focus on one kind 
of sky watching. "A casual amateur rarely does anything of 
significance," says Harvard-Smithsonian's Brian Marsden. 
"You have to go out night after night and sweep the sky, 
even when it's cloudy, to find anything." 

polishing the optics. And he added all kinds of specialized 
attachments to make his work easier, including a Little heat- 
er that keeps the eyepiece from fogging if he breathes on 
it and filters specially tuned for the color of comets. The re- 
sult: three new comet finds for Brewington in two years, ■> 
eluding one missed on previous returns to Earth and sub- 
sequently rechristened Comet Metcalf-Brewington. 

Just a little further west of Brewington in Tucson. Arizona, 
is David Levy, one of the world's most successful amateurs 
with 1 8 comets and one asteroid to his name. A popular as- 
tronomy writer by trade, he sleeps during the morning and 
comet hunts at night. Because comets are an etustvs prey, 
hiding out behind passing clouds and showing themselves 
only on clear, moonless nights, the rhythm of Levy's month 
is set by the phases of the moon. "The moon acts as a refer- 
ee," Levy says. "At full moon, there aren't any comets to be 
found because the sky is too bright. But as soon as it 
leaves the evening sky, there's an hour or so of dark sky 
that can be searched in hope of finding a comet." Two 
weeks later, when the declining moon dims. Levy is able to 

hunt the morning sky. In the summer, that means being at 
the eyepiece by 2:30 a.m.; in winter, around 4:30 a,m. 

Indeed finding comets takes incredible dedication. Levy 
put in exactly 917 hours and 28 minutes before his first dis- 
covery. "There was a period when I got interested in other 
parts of astronomy and didn't do too much," he reports, "but 
I always kept a little clock going to keep a statistical count 
on how long it took me." In total, 19 years would pass be- 
fore Levy made his first discovery, and he had to stand up 
a girlfriend to do it. Over a romantic dinner together, the sky 
began to clear, and his date knew what was coming, '"You're 
going to leave me here and hunt for comets, aren't you?' 
said Lonny Baker. And snapping to attention, I said, 'Mo, no, 

no. We're not going to do that. We'll finish dinner first; then 
I'll go home and hunt for comets.'" Days later, a front-page 
article in the local paper contained one paragraph on Levy's 
comet find and two columns about the broken date. 

Occasionally, an amateur does make a quick discovery. 
A 16-year-old high-school student from Texas decided to 
spend his summer vacation comet hunting bacfc in 1968 and 
made a find his third night out. But others tell of putting in 
up to 3,000 hours before getting their first comets, and many 
meet with no success at all. 

What keeps so many amateurs comet hunting then? Be- 
sides the glory of having your name go down in the record 
books and the adrenalin rush of a find, amateurs find com- 


on whether you prefer to buy your 
equipment or roll up your sleeves 
and build much of it yourself. 

First, consider what you want to 
observe. Monitoring stars, photo- 
graphing distant galaxies, or watch- 
ing for changing features on the 
moon or planets all call for a perma- 
nently mounted telescope. If you pre- 
fer comet hunting, timing grazing lu- 
nar occultations (eclipses of stars by 
the mountains and valleys on the 
northern or southern edge of the 
moon), or hanging out with other 
amateur astronomers at star parties, 
you'll need a mobile observatory. 
Some amateurs manage both by 
building onto a trailer an observatory 
equipped with a large ti 

The Basics 

If you don't know what you want to 
observe or if you want to do it all, be- 
gin with the cheapest and easiest 
"observatory": a pair of good binoc- 
ulars clamped rock-solid onto a stur- 
dy camera tripod. For around $100, 
you can buy a pair of high-quality bin- 
oculars; a telescope of comparable 
value is little more than a toy. 

Binoculars are described by a 
pair of numbers, such as 7 x 35 or 
8 x 50. The first number refers to 
the magnifying power; the second 
number is the diameter of the ap- 
erture in millimeters of each of the 
main lenses. Because objects in the 

night sky are so dim, it's best to 
view them through binoculars at 
least 50 mm across. 

You can purchase a good new tele- 
scope for between $400 and $800. 
There are two basic types: reflectors, 
which use mirrors, and refractors, 
which use lenses. Refractors require 
far more craftsmanship, so compa- 
rable aperture can be five to ten 
times more costly than for reflectors. 

A telescope's size is specified by 
the aperture of its main mirror or 
lens and also by its focal ratio (the 
distance required for the main mir- 
ror or lens to bring the light to a fo- 
cus, divided by the aperture). While 
two reflectors of the same aperture 
(most commonly six or eight inches) 
have the same light-gathering pow- 
er, a telescope with a shorter focal 
ratio (say, f/6) is better for dim ex- 
tended objects such as comets. 
One with a longer focal ratio (say, 
f/8 or f/10), however, is better suit- 
ed to viewing bright, compact ob- 
jects such as the moon and planets. 
Unlike binoculars, a telescope's mag- 
nification can be changed simply by 
changing the eyepiece. Maximum us- 
able magnification is about 50 
times for every inch of aperture. 

Far more important than magnify- 
ing power is the quality of the tele- 
scope's optics and mount. To test 
them, first aim the telescope at a dis- 
tant bright light. Through each of the 

eyepieces, make sure you. get a 
sharp, clear image without obvious 
fringes of color (unlike binoculars, a 
telescope's images are upside 
down,) Next, while focusing on 
some distant object, give the tele- 
scope a sharp rap. If the image quick- 
ly settles, the mount is solid; If not, 
you can count on images shivering 
with every slight breeze. The best tel- 
escopes can be ordered through rep- 
utable optical firms. 

For several hundred hours of care- 
ful labor, you can build your own 14- 
or 16-inch reflector. Many amateur 
clubs and planetariums offer tele- 
scope-making classes. 

The Observatory 

Most amateurs don't really need an 
observatory building. The average 
reflector weighs 50 to 75 pounds 
and can be disassembled in two or 
three pieces for carrying from ga- 
rage to backyard. But if you live in 
an ideal observing site — remote and 
dark, away from city lights and 
smog, where the nights are clear 
much of the year — you may eventu- 
ally want a permanent observing in- 
stallation with your equipment set up 
and ready for viewing. 

Whatever you choose, check into 
local astronomy clubs, college astron- 
omy departments, or planetariums 
for information and other resources. 

Clear skies! —Trudy E, Bell 

AUGUST 11-12,1993: Peak 

of the Perseid meteor shower, pre- 
■ dawn, three to four hours before sun- 
rise. Observe with the naked eye. 

AUGUST 19, 1993: Saturn 
is in "opposition" (on the opposite 
side of the earth from the sun). At 
dusk, Saturn will be low in the east- 
southeast (ESE) sky. Look high in the 
south in the middle of the night. At 
dawn, Saturn will set in the WSW, 

SEPTEMBER 5, 1993: Mars 
will lie within one degree of Jupiter, 
directly below it, low in the WSW sky, 
at dusk, 45 to 60 minutes after sun- 
set. The bright star, Spica, is at left. 

OCTOBER 25, 1993: Ura- 
nus passes 1.1 degrees south of 
Neptune at dusk, SSW. This is the 
last conjunction, or pairing, of these 
planets until the year 2165. Note: 
You'll need a telescope or binoc- 
ulars to take in the view as well as a 
finder chart to locate the objects. 
Look near Sagittarius, above the 
eight-sided "teapot." 

NOVEMBER 8, 1993: Ve- 
nus .is a mere half degree from Ju- 
piter — the brightest and closest plan- 
et pair of the year— at dawn, ESE. 

NOVEMBER 21, 1993: Mer- 
cury can be found halfway between 
Venus and Jupiter, at dawn, ESE. 
Both planets are bright, which 
should make Mercury easier to spot 
through the horizontal haze. 

NOVEMBER 28-29, 1993: 

Total lunar eclipse. Partial eclipse be- 
gins at 11:40 p.m. EST on Novem- 
ber 28. Totality begins at 1:02 a.m 
on November 29 with the darkes 
time (mid eclipse) at 1:26 a.m 
talityendsat 1:50 a.m., and the par- 
tial eclipse ends at 3:12 a.m. 

DECEMBER 13, 1993: The 

best time to view the Geminid mete- 
ors — first in the predawn hours and 
again later at night. 

JANUARY 8, 1994: Mercu- 
ry, Venus, Mars, Uranus, and Nep- 
tune can be found within four de- 
grees of the sun during daylight 
hours, Alas, sky watchers won't be 
able to see any of them. 

FEBRUARY 1, 1994: Mercu- 
ry is within 1 .5 degrees of Saturn at 
dusk, very low, WSW. 

FEBRUARY 28, 1994: Jupi- 
ter begins retrograde motion. The 
planet starts in the southern sky 
near the star Alpha Librae, at dawn. 
During' the next four months, it will 
move about ten degrees west before 
moving east as the year continues. 

APRIL 12, 1994: Venus pass- 
es very near the moon. In the West- 
ern United States, the closest ap- 
proach occurs just before sunset; in 

the East, just after sunset. 

APRIL 25, 1994: Venus sits 
just below the Pleiades. A last 
chance to view this pretty sky star 
cluster, at dusk, low in the WSW, if 
you've followed its progress. Binoc- 
ulars are essential. 

APRIL 29, 1994: Jupiter is at 
opposition — visible all night long. At 
dusk, you'll see it in the ESE; in the 

middle of the night, high in the south- 
ern sky; at dawn, low in the WSW. 

MAY 10, 1994: Citizens along 
a track from Arizona and New Mexi- 
co to Maine can see an annular so- 
lar eclipse — a bright ring of sunlight 
surrounding the moon. The rest of 
the continental United States will 
have to settle for a partial eclipse, 

which peaks in Southern California 
at 9:00 a.m. PDT. The annular 
eclipse hits Maine at 1:50 p.m. EDT 
Caution; Do not look at the sun with 
the naked eye. "Pinhole" projection 
Is the safest method of viewing. 

MAY 20-31, 1994: Mercu- 

ry is within ten degrees (lower right) 
of Venus at dusk, WSW. This is the 
best evening "apparition" of Mercu- 
ry for the year. 

MAY 24-25, 1994: Partial 
lunar eclipse: The moon enters 
Earth's shadow (umbra) at 10:37 
p.m. EDT. The greatest eclipse (25 
percent) occurs at 11:30 p.m. The 
moon leaves Earth's umbra at 12:23 
a.m., May 25. Elsewhere in the 
United States, except the East, the 
eclipse takes place late at night, May 
24. (Brightness precludes those in 
Hawaii and Alaska from viewing.) 

JULY 2, 1994: Jupiter is 11 de- 
grees east of Spica, at dusk, SSW. 
The planet, which had been moving 
toward Spica for the four previous 
months, ends its retrograde motion 
and begins heading east again, 

JULY 4, 1994: Mars is within 
four degrees of the Pleiades, low in 
the ENE, at dawn. A quiet way to 
start Independence Day. 

AUGUST 11-12, 1994: The 

Perseid meteor shower peaks in the 
predawn darkness several hours be- 
fore sunrise. 


Abrams Planetarium Sky Calendar 
($6 per year, Michigan State Univer- 
sity, East Lansing, Michigan 48824); 
Sky& Telescope's Guide to the Heav- 
ens and SkyGazers Almanac; Astro- 
rpmical Calendar by Guy Ottewell. 
—Steve Nad is 

ets fascinating and beautiful objects. 
"It's not like looking at the Orion nebu- 
la or Andromeda galaxy which appear 
exactly the same night after night," 
Brewington says. "Comets can grow 
and lose tails as they move. Some 
break up and throw outbursts as they 
go across the sky. That's exciting." 

Explosive Stars 

The most challenging and difficult tar- 
gets for sky hunters are novas and su- 
pernovas — erupting stars that are cov- 
eted prizes by both amateurs and pro- 
fessionals. Despite the magnitude of 
these cosmic events, they appear as on- 
ly pinpricks of new light in the sky 
among the thousands and thousands 
of shining stars, and the view is often 
dimmed by surrounding dust and gas 
clouds. "You're really looking for a star 
among stars," says Steve O'Meara, an 
editor at Sky & Telescope, an amateur 
astronomy magazine. "And that's far 
more difficult that finding a big, fuzzy 
blob like a comet." 

Although today, most novas and su- 
pernovas are also detected photograph- 
ically and electronically using expensive 
professional equipment, a few truly gift- 
ed amateurs do excel in visually spot- 
ting these stellar explosions. Robert 
Evans, a Protestant minister from New 

South Wales, Australia, is considered 
the world> foremost supernova hunter, 
tallying up more than 20 discoveries 
since 1981. He has memorized the ma- 
jor details of many galaxies and scans 
the sky each night for any detectable 
changes. "He's extraordinarily good 
and can beat out the professionals 
with their fancy equipment," says Bri- 
an Marsden. "While they have to take, 
store, and go through their images, 
Evans has the images of how the gal- 
axies should look in his brain. He does 
it all with the eye and the mind." 

According to Peter Collins, America's 
most accomplished visual nova hunter 
with four finds to his credit, the key to 
memorizing all these stars is creating 
little miniconstellations in your mind. "It's 
just like knowing the night sky by the 
bigger constellations like Virgo, but 
you're doing it with a pair of binoculars 
and the constellations are very small. 
You also have to make up your own 
names for figures because ones aren't 
given to you." Collins has tackled the 
Milky Way in this manner— a seeming- 
ly impossible task — by breaking it 
down into such images as a broom or 
a miniature version of the Big Dipper 
with one extra star attached. 

Once a nova or supernova is sight- 
ed, professional astronomers seek out 

the big telescopes with spectrographs 
on them to identify what kind of materi- 
als are being given off, the speed at 
which this matter travels, and how quick- 
ly the star will fade. They have only a 
few days to catch the event before maxi- 
mum brightness occurs. Bystudying su- 
pernovas, in particular, scientists are try- 
ing to understand some of the most im- 
portant processes going on in the uni- 
verse. These massive explosions are 
thought to account for the formation of 
new stars, determine the shape of gal- 
axies, and produce most of the differ- 
ent kinds of matter that exist. Some sci- 
entists believe the material generated 
by supernovas provided the seeds for 
new planets, stars, and all life that's 
found on our Earth. 

Team Work 

Many stellar astronomers work almost 
hand in hand with amateurs, relying on 
an 1,100-member group known as the 
American Association of Variable Star 
Observers (AAVSO). Headquartered in 
Cambridge, Massachusetts, its ama- 
teur members keep track of stars that 
vary in brightness over days, weeks, 
and years — very active sky objects 
considered essential to understanding 
how stars are born, evolve, and die. 

When AAVSO puts out a special 
"alert notice," observers from around 
the world respond with thousands of 
observations. This data helps research- 
ers schedule the best possible observ- 
ing time on specialized satellite tele- 
scopes such as the new Extreme Ultra- 
violet Explorer. At biannual meetings, 
one's status is likely to be determined 
by such questions as, "How many esti- 
mates did you make last year?" and, 
"What's your grand total?" Real 
AAVSO troopers center their lives 
around outbursts of stars such as S S 
Cygni and T Pyxidis and send in 2,000 
or more observations each year. 

In planetary astronomy, profession- 
als and amateurs work even more close- 
ly together in a worldwide network 
called the Association of Lunar and 
Planetary Observers. With recent fund- 
ing cutbacks and only the occasional 
flyby of a spacecraft like Voyager, plan- 
etary astronomers depend almost totally 
on amateurs for the day-to-day monitor- 
ing of Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter. 

In some cases, amateurs have even 
made startling discoveries. In the 
1970s, a Harvard astronomer gave ed- 
itor Steve O'Meara, who is also an avid 
amateur observer, a project to watch 
the rings of Saturn. Using a nine-inch 
refractor telescope, O'Meara, well 
known for his incredible eyesight, ob- 
served shadowy, fingerlike projections 
moving across the ring. At the time, the 

finding was dismissed because it 

seemed to defy the laws of physics. No 
one could explain how particles could 
cross a ring and still stay togeiher. But 
four years later, when Voyager went by, 
pictures of these so-called "spokes" re- 
lumed. No one knows what the spokes 
are or precisely how Ihey work, but be- 
cause they bear a resemblance to 
cars zooming around a racetrack, pro- 
fessionals dubbed the phenomenon 
"the Saturn 500." For O'Meara, the ex- 
perience felt like "being a nineteenth- 
century astronomer who had the oppor- 
tunity to jump into the twentieth centu- 
ry and see his findings vindicated." 

d High Tech 

If professionals want to know what's 
happening on Saturn or Mars to plan a 
week's observing run somewhere, 
they're likely to place a call to Donald 
Parker, a Florida anesthesiologist 
whose wonderful pictures of planets 
have appeared in more than 15 profes- 
sional journals. His studies of Martian 
climatic changes have proven helpful 
in examining Earth's climate. This accom- 
plished observer is now breaking new 
ground with an electronic camera sys- 
tem popularly known as a CCD 
(charged coupled device), which turns 
out digital images that are stored and 

processed on a personal computer. 

Originally, Parker, 54, resisted leav- 
ing traditional astro photography. "I was 
dragged kicking and screaming into 
electronic imaging. But the pictures are 
much better than anything I could ever 
hope to gel with photography." Be- 
cause exposure times on CCD systems 
are much shorter, Parker is able to cap- 
ture incredible detail on planets — such 
as fading white spots on Saturn — that 
would have been completely blurred on 
traditional photographs. 

In fact, due to the increasing acces- 
sibility of high-tech equipment — a CCD 
system costs only a few thousand dol- 
lars—amateurs now have the possibili- 
ty of making real advances. Parker, for 
example, can now get images of Mars 
when it's still extremely small and dis- 
tant — a mere four "arc seconds" — in the 
morning sky. "If you listen to the ex- 
perts," he says, "they say this can't be 
done. And I say, 'We're doing it.' We're 
pushing the edge of the envelope." 

The Amateur Advantage 

Prior to the twentieth century, no distinc- 
tion existed between amateur and pro- 
fessional astronomers. Copernicus, who 
first put forward the theory that the sun 
is the center of the solar system, was a 
sixleenth-century Polish cleric. He cor- 

rectly assumed the Church would be up- 
set by his radical ideas and delayed pub- 
lication until shortly before his death. Wil- 
liam Herschel, the English astronomer 
who discovered thousands of stars, clus- 
ters, and nebulae— along with the plan- 
et Uranus — originally moved to England 
in the 1700s as a musician and only lat- 
er discovered a penchant for telescope 
making and observing. 

By the 1880s, astronomy had begun 
to evolve into a profession. Then E, E. 
Barnard, a poor photographer's assist- 
ant in desperate need of money, decid- 
ed to try his hand at comet hunting. At 
that time, an American philanthropist 
awarded $200 for every new come! dis- 
covery, and Barnard, who used his win- 
nings to meet his mortgage payments, 
is said to have literally built "a house of 
comets." He went on to became a dis- 
tinguished professional astronomer. 

Even in this century, Clyde Tom- 
baugh began as an amateur, watching 
Saturn and Jupiter from his homemade 
felescope on a Kansas farm.. On the ba- 
sis of his drawings — little sketches the 
size of index cards — he was hired by 
Lowell Observatory in 1929. Within a 
year, Tombaugh would discover Pluto, 
the solar system's most distant planet. 

Now specialized education and ad- 
vanced degrees are usually a prereq- 
uisite for professional astronomy. Bu' 
there are also more subtle divisions be- 
tween the two categories, and few am- 
ateurs — even the top ones — have any 
desire to make the switch. Most ama- 
teurs love the freedom they have to ob- 
serve what they want for as long as 
they want. Professionals, however, are 
limited to a few weeks a year on big tel- 
escopes and are always under pres- 
sure to "publish or perish." 

Most important, modern profession- 
al astronomy has become divorced 
from actual star watching. "For dec- 
ades," says Steve O'Meara, "the eye- 
ball has been removed from any of Ihe 
larger telescopes." Professionals sit in 
warm, lighted rooms far from their instru- 
ments waiting for data to roll in — usu- 
ally in the form of numbers. Many 
spend virtually no time actually looking 
at the stars and barely know their way 
around the constellations, 

But intimately knowing and watching 
the sky is precisely what attracts ama- 
teurs to astronomy. It is an ancient tra- 
dition that goes back to the early days 
of the Chinese Empire when the arrival 
of comets, novas, and eclipses were all 
first carefully recorded. "I never get 
tired of it," says nova hunter Peter Col- 
lins. "There are nights when you go out 
and see all kinds of marvels — a bright 
meteor, a satellite— things will happen. 
The sky just comes alive." DO 

vibrant, healthy, self-sustaining communities. They are also 
offering up a peace pipe in the form of their traditional 
world views and environmental sciences for a planet many 
see careening toward destruction. Bolstered by a newfound 
image created by a growing sense of pride and the in- 
creasing public concern over the continual destruction of the 
environment — even Hollywood movies like Dances with 
Wolves and Wiping the Tears— Native Americans are now 
enjoying not just sympathy, but respect from people around 
the world. Tribes and tribal members, however, are dis- 
covering that their future lies not just in seizing the moment, 
but also in the technology. 

"There is a pan-Indian movement going on now in which 
a growing number of Indian people are uniting across tribal 
lines to work toward a common social and political good for 
all — and the links are the new communication technologies," 
says George Baldwin, sociology chairman at Henderson 
State University in Arkansas 
and an Osage and Kaw Indi- 
an who last year helped 
launch American Indian Tel- 
ecommunications (AIT), the 
first nonprofit group dedicat- 
ed to promoting the grass- 
roots Native American com- 
puting movement. "A lot of 
people like to romanticize, 
hold Indians to that image 
of weaving blankets for 
sale by the side of the 
road, and we're weaving all 
right, but it's gone beyond 
blankets to information." 

Native American commu- 
nities have long been iso- 
lated — from each other as 
well as from the rest of Amer- 
ica. Computer and satellite 
technology, however, is 
changing that. 

Witness: Hundreds of Na- 
tive American students, ed- 
ucators, Iribal representa- 
tives, attorneys, and scien- 
tists are now linking up via 

modems and mainframe networks, such as Internet (the pub- 
lic data network funded by the National Science Foundation), 
roaming cyberspace in virtual American Indian communities 
on the electronic frontier. "It's a whole new wave for Indian 
country," says AIT's Randy Ross. "And it's moving like wild- 
fire." A half-dozen Native American-oriented list servers and 
news groups function as electronic powwows on everything 
from bingo to education and protection of sacred sites. 

AIT, meanwhile, has launched a grass-roots computing 
movement with the Dakota BBS, a desktop bulletin-board sys- 
tem operating on a 486 machine, located in Rapid City, 
South Dakota. "Indian people at the grass-roots level need 
to have the opportunity of creating and exchanging informa- 
tion about and among themselves in a way that's appropri- 
ate for them and to form their own dynamic," says Ross, who 
set up the Dakota BBS with systems owner Anne.Fallis. 
Groups, including the Pine Ridge Reservation's Shannon Coun- 

48 OMNI 





ty Schools and the Northern Plains Native American Chemi- 
cal Dependency Association, use the service. 

IndianNet, a computer network funded by the Administra- 
tion for Native Americans (ANA) should go online this year. 
It will serve as a forum for the discussion on repatriation and 
house a tribal-profile database. 

On more and more reservations, computer technology is 
recording and teaching native languages, tribal history, and 
traditional culture- and knowledge as well as disseminating 
current events and information. "With computers, we now 
have the capability for the first time to have really portable 
and low-cost technology to be able to enhance cultures," 
says Jim May, a member of the Keetoowah tribe of the Chero- 
kee and vice provost for information resources at California 
State University in Chlco. "We can use camcorders to get 
oral histories and desktop publishing to disseminate infor- 
mation, and I can even print things out in Cherokee now on 
my Macintosh. It's going to 
result in an explosion of 
home-grown materials." 

On the Hualapai Reserva- 
tion in Peach Springs, Ari- 
zona, and on the Pine 
Ridge Reservation in Kyle, 
South Dakota, for example, 
students are learning their 
native language via Hyper- 
card programs that allow 
them to check their pronun- 
ciations with the computer 
voice. Students and profes- 
sors at Oglala Lakota Col- 
lege on Pine Ridge are cre- 
ating CD-ROMs on every- 
thing from the Bigfoot Mas- 
sacre in 1890 to the Wound' 
ed Knee Uprising In 1973. 
And in Window Rock, Arizo- 
na, the Navajo tribe is 
ating a CD-ROM on their tra- 
ditional world view. 

The American Indian 
Higher Education Consorti- 
um (AIHEC) and the Native 
American Public Broadcast- 
ing Consortium (NAPBC) with a $250,000 grant from the Com- 
merce Department have joined forces to develop a video 
satellite network that will interconnect the 26 AIHEC colleg- 
es and BIA-operated schools to share courses. The network 
will also allow the tribal colleges to transmit courses via sat- 
ellite to other universities around the country. "While edu- 
cation is the funding emphasis for the project now, we envi- 
sion that it will grow into other areas, including intertribal 
communications, tribe-to-U.S. government communications, 
and news dissemination from courts, Congress, and various 
government agencies," says NAPBC Director, Frank Blythe. 
The NAPBC is planning to launch the American Indian Ra- 
dio on Satellite (AIROS) network, the first nationwide Native 
American radio network. AIROS would distribute program- 
ming and information to and from the 27 Native American- 
owned or controlled stations throughout the country, most 
of which offer a blend of programming, from tribal news and 

CJ--.-INLED O'l l-'Airi\ -K 


Article By James Dickerson 

An electric saw buzzed through a lead container that had been 
sealed for 150 years. Slowly, the liner lid was removed, exposing the 

remains of Zachary Taylor, the twelfth president of the United States. Face to face 

with the former president, a blue-ribbon panel of investigators was surprised to see a thick mass of dark hair 
and a large cloth bow under the chin. Since the president's visit was meant to be brief, his hosts went to work 
immediately. University of Florida forensic anthropologist Bill Maples methodically cut away the president's 
clothing, finding abundant body hair beneath the one-piece, pleated shroud. Then he took hair, nail, and tissue 
samples, hoping they would prove whether the president had succumbed to arsenic poisoning or died of natural 
causes. /^Ghoulish? Perhaps to most. But to forensic sleuths like Maples, who focus on murders and other 
mysteries a century or more aid, exhuming and examining the remains of celebrities from presidents to political 

assassins is business as usual. /^In another case, for instance, Maples seeks to identify the remains of Fran- » 
cisco Pizarro, the Spanish conqueror of Peru.. And his colleague James Starrs, a lawyer and forensic scientist 
at George Washington University in Washington, DC, has exhumed the remains of Dr. Carl Austin Weiss, the 
alleged assassin of the controversial U.S. senator from Louisiana, Huey Long. When held up to the scrutiny of 
modern science, Weiss's remains and other buried evidence may show whether the doctor was truly Long's 
assassin or was innocent, as his descendants have claimed, /it's possible to resolve such issues today, 
thanks to the extraordinary range and power of modern forensic techniques. Today's high-resolution microscopes, 
for instance, can analyze knife marks on bone, distinguishing between different knives or the marks left by 
animals. X-rays can probe beneath the surface of grave sites. Sophisticated chemical and nuclear technologies 
can detect trace amounts of incriminating poisons. And using computers, experts can superimpose old photos 


Back in time: 
To resolve 
some of the 
most grue- 
some and eni] 
matic murder 
mysteries of 
the past, phys- 
ical anthropolo- 

leuthing crimes of the past, forensic anthropologists open up files on Lizzie Borden, 

vicious killer 
who ate his 
unwitting vic- 
tims' remains. 
Shown above is 
a photo of the 
remains of the 
five victims 
shortly after 

exhumation in 
1989. Another 
historical figure 
currently the 
subject of 
investigation is 
Lewis, of Lewis 
and Clark 
fame, at right, 
who died of two 
wounds. The 

death was de- 
clared a suicide 
at the time but 
is now consid- 
ered a murder, 
Also the topic 
of study was 


say some 
experts, it's 
remotely possible 
that Taylor was 
poisoned with 
arsenic after all 
and that the 
evidence has 
simply leached 
from his body 
over the years. 

the Colorado Cannibal, Zachary Taylor, and Huey "Kingfish' Long, among others. 


of a victim or suspect on top of x-ray images of facial bones, determining whether or not the identities are a 
match.y^m fact, whether it's determining the identity of an eighteenth-century cannibal or investigating the 
fate of the princess Anastasia Romanov, forensic anthropologists have begun to rewrite the history of murder, 
mayhem, and sensational crime. For a look at some of the most fascinating investigations to date, open Omni's 
murder dossier, and read on. Who Kitled the Kingfish? VICTIM: Huey Long, U.S. senator and former governor 
from Louisiana. y/^DEATH NOTES: The politically powerful Long was shot and killed while visiting the 
Louisiana State Capitol on September 8, 1935. The presumed assassin, a 29-year-old physician named Carl 
Weiss, was killed by Long's bodyguards in a hail of gunfire at the scene. /^MURDER MYSTERY: Although the 
case against Weiss was considered open and shut at the time, questions began to emerge. First of all, officials 
were never able to establish a genuine motive. In addition, though police said Weiss's gun was found at the 

Aramis in Lima 
The mummy in 
showed no 
evidence of a 
brutal attack, 
and when 
workers found 

The mystery murder of Huey 
solved, Peruvian Long, bottom 
officials put the left, and the 
true remains on true guilt of his 
display. "Fame 
is fleeting," 
investigator Bill 

scene, no one could prove he had carried the gun into the Capitol. Did Carl Weiss really kill Huey Long, or was 
he just a patsy, a fall guy set up by one of the many bitter political enemies Long had cultivated over the 
yearst/fORENSIC SLEUTHS: James Starrs, forensic scientist, George Washington University, Washington, 
DC; Douglas Ubelaker, curator of anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, 
Washington, DC; Lucien Haag, freelance "criminalist" and weapons expert, Phoenix; Irvin Sother, state medical 
examiner, West Virginia; and Alphonse Poklis, toxicologist, Medical College of Virginia at Richmond. 
/^CLUES UNEARTHED: Weiss's remains were exhumed on October 20, 1991, at the Roselawn Cemetery in 
Baton Rouge and transported first to the Lafayette, Louisiana, pathology lab for cleaning, then to Ubelaker's 
lab at the National Museum of Natural History. To identify the remains as those of Weiss, Ubelaker used the 
technique of photographic imposition to match the skull with old photos of the suspect. To rule out the 

murderer, Carl 
Weiss, whose 
dead body is 
shown at left 
on a Baton 
Rouge Capitol 
corridor floor. 
sleuths investi- 
gating the 
Colorado Canni- 

bal have stud- 
ied this sketch, 
above, created 
by artist John 
Randolph, the 
man said to 
have discov- 
ered the 
remains of the 
five unlucky 
victims brutally 
killed and then 
filleted and eaten 
by Packer. 

Photograph of 
the skull of 
victim George 
Noon, below, 
shows numer- 
ous -hatchet 
marks. Finally, 

likelihood thai Weiss committed the act 
as a result of a brain tumor or while un- 
der the influence of drugs, toxicologist 
Poklis examined the anatomy of the 
skull and analyzed the chemical con- 
tent of tissue and bones. Examining the 
remains, he also discovered that 
Weiss had been shot a minimum of 23 
times, with half the wounds inflicted on 
his back. Several bullet wounds were 
found in his arms, suggesting a defen- 
sive posture. Ubelaker also found that 
Weiss had been shot from a "variety of 
angles, implying that his assailants 
ca'me from many directions." 

Then Haag, an expert in firearms and 
tool marks, stepped in to examine the 
contents of files squirreled away by the 
police superintendent. Perhaps most tell- 
ing was a .32-caliber bullet thought to 
have come from the scene of the 
crime. After testing the bullet at the lab- 
oratory in Phoenix, Haag concluded it 
did not come from Weiss's gun. Since 
Long's bodyguards carried only larger 
.38- and ,45-caliber pistols, Haag 
notes, the mysterious bullet raises he 
question of a second, never- re ported 
.32-caliber pistol somewhere on the 
scene. It's possible, he proposes, that 
Weiss's gun was simply a plant to pro- 
tect the identity of the true killer, the one 
that got away. Anyone who knew that 

Weiss carried a piece could have 
found one like it and committed the 
crime themselves, setting Weiss up for 
the fall, Haag says. 
CONCLUSION: As a result of all the 
new evidence, the seemingly solid 
case against Weiss has been riddled 
with doubt. 

Will the Real Pizarro Please Stand? " 

VICTIM: Francisco Pizarro, Spanish con- 
queror of Peru. 

DEATH NOTES: Francisco Pizarro, de- 
spised by native Peruvians because of 
his brutal reign, was stabbed to death 
by a crowd of angry subjects in 1541 
at the age of 71 in full view of numer- 
ous witnesses. Pizarro subsequently fad- 
ed into history where he remained a top- 
ic for academicians and scholars for 
more than 350 years, 
stances of Pizarro's death are not in 
question, having been well document- 
ed at the time by the Spanish, who tor- 
tured witnesses to elicit the details. How- 
ever, in the 1890s, Peruvian officials de- 
cided to put Pizarro's remains on exhibit 
as part of an upcoming celebration of 
Columbus's voyage. They asked offi- 
cials at the Cathedral of the Plaza de 
Aramis in Lima for Pizarro's body and 
were directed to a mummy, which they 

put on view. Then, in 1978, workers in 
the cathedral uncovered a secret 
niche that had been walled over, On a 
shelf inside the niche was a lead box 
with a skull and an inscription identify- 
ing the contents as the head of Pizar- 
ro. Alongside this first box was another, 
this one containing the bones of sever- 
al unidentified individuals. Who was the 
real Pizarro? The mummy that had 
been on display for nearly a century or 
the skull and bones found in the ca- 
thedral crypt? 

FORENSIC SLEUTHS: Bill Maples, an- 
thropologist, University of Florica, Gaines- 
ville, and Bob Benfer, anthropologist, 
University of Missouri, Columbia. 
CLUES UNEARTHED: A preliminary in- 
vestigation by one of Benfer's students 
showed that postcranial bones in the 
second box matched the skull in the 
first. The matching bones were then as- 
sembled with tine skull. The challenge 
for Maples and Benfer: determining 
whether the newly discovered bones 
contained marks consistent with knife 
or sword wounds and then determining 
whether similar wounds appeared on 
the mummy. Using straightforward visu- 
al observation, the researchers deter- 
mined that the skeleton had been 
stabbed multiple times, consistent 
with the reported demise of Pizarro. 
From the location of the wounds, Ma- 
ples and Benfer concluded, that Pizar- 
ro had been stabbed about the head 
and body and apparently had tried to 
shield himself with his arm, a reaction 
that is common in stabbing deaths. The 
mummy, on the other hand, exhibited 
no injuries whatsoever and could not 
have been Pizarro at all. 
CONCLUSION: The remains of Pizarro 
had been hidden in the Cathedral 
crypt all along. The mystery solved, Pe- 
ruvian officials exchanged the mummy 
with the bones, which are now on dis- 
play instead. As for the mummy, it's on 
a piece of plywood down in the crypt. 
"Fame is fleeting," Maples observes, 
"even after death." 

Search for Anastasia 
VICTIMS: Czar of Russia, Nicholas ll; 
his wife, Alexandra; their five children, 
Olga, Tatlana, Marie, Anastasia, and Al- 
exis; the royal physician; and several roy- 
al servants. 

DEATH NOTES: On July 17, 1918, dur- 
ing the Bolshevik Revolution, the Rus- 
sian czar and his family along with the 
royal physician and some servants 
were awakened and taken to the base- 
ment of the house in which they 
staveo. There, they were greeted by a 
hall of bullets and then stabbed with bay- 
onets. According to one account, their 
bodies were hacked to pieces and 

so;-.iked in acid. Two were burned. 
MURDER MYSTERY: In what may have 
been the ultimate game of Russian rou- 
lette, the assassins assigned to wipe 
out the royal iamily may have let two 
members slip through the cracks. Ac- 
cording to rumors that have persisted 
ever since the fateful day, the princess 
Anastasia Romanov and her brother Al- 
exis may have survived their grievous 
injuries and lived to tell the tale. One 
observer, for instance, recalled the 
czar's youngest daughter sitting up and 
screaming after the initial volley of bul- 
lets'. And in the years that followed, a 
number of people have claimed to be 
Anastasia herself. Anna Anderson Man- 
ahan, who died in Charlottesville, Vir- 
ginia, in 1 984 at the age of 82, was prob- 
ably the most publicized claimant, For 
60 years she tried to convince people 
she was Princess Anastasia and even 
filed a lawsuit in Germany for an $85 mil- 
lion dowry supposedly held in trust. Ger- 
man bankers were vague about the ex- 
istence of a trust fund, however, and 
she lost the case. Although a movie was 
made of her struggle, her claims were 
discounted, primarily because she 
could not speak Russian. Was Man- 
ahan or another claimant the true Anas- 
tasia Romanov? Did the youngest czar- 
ist princess survive? 

FORENSIC SLEUTHS: Bill Maples; Low- 
ell Levine, codirector of the New York 
State Police Forensic Sciences Unit in 
Albany; Michael Baden, New York City 
pathologist; and Catherine Oakes, mi- 
crotomist, New York State police. 
CLUES UNEARTHED; In 1 991 , Russian 
authorities exhumed the remains of 
nine bodies thought to-be the czar and 
those who perished with him. Also re- 
trieved from the grave site were bullets 
and a broken acid jar. Soon after ex- 
humation, American experts, including 
Maples and Levine, arrived at a lab in 
Yekaterinburg, a city some 800 miles 
east of Moscow, Their goal: to identify 
the bodies and determine the cause of 
death. The Americans quickly declared 
that historical accounts of the assassi- 
nation were born out by the condition 
of the remains. "Three of the skulls 
showed clear evidence of gunshot 
wounds," Maples says, "and teeth and 
skulls shewed evidence of etching and 
erosion by acid." There was even 
enough tissue on the remains of what 
was certainly the royal physician to 
hold the lower torso together. In fact, 
there was only one part of the story 
that could not be verified: the death of 
Anastasia. The skeleton of a 17-year- 
old female could not be found. Maples 
sees one last way to prove that Anas- 

"I knew that you had many talents, Ferguson, but t didn't realize thai 
levitation was one of them. " 

tasia died: Locate a firepit containing 
the two bodies that were supposedly 
burned. According to historical ac- 
counts, the burned bodies belonged to 
Alexis, the czar's son, and a maid. But 
Maples says one of the burned bodies 
could turn out to be Anastasia. "If we 
found the bodies of two teenagers in a 
fire pit," he says, "I wou d feei cc-'ilidonl 
that Anastasia did not survive." 
CONCLUSION: DNA analysis conduct- 
ed by British scientists confirmed the 
findings of forensic sleuths who went to 
Russia. After comparing blood samoies 
taken from Prince Philip, a blood rela- 
tive of the czar's wife, with tissue sam- 
ples taken from the remains at Yekater- 
inburg, scientists were able to get a 
match, At the moment, the fate of Anas- 
lasa has oeer thrown into question. Rus- 
sian investigators say Anastasia's re- 
mains were among those found. Amer- 
ican experts are unsure. Recently, a 
lock of hair said to belong to Anna An- 
derson Manahan has been produced 
and will soon be subjected to DNA analy- 
sis. Hopefully, say the experts, they 
will be able to tell whether her genes 
and those of Prince Philip match. 

Presidential Poison 

VICTIM: Zachary Taylor, twelfth presi- 
dent of the United States. 
DEATH NOTES: On July 4, 1850, Pres- 
ident Taylor dedicated the cornerstone 
for the Washington Monument. After- 
walking home from the ceremony, he 
ate. a bowl of cherries and drank a 
glass of cold milk. A short while later, 
he became violently ill with diarrhea, se 
vere vomiting, and dehydration. Five 
days later he died. 

MURDER MYSTERY: At the time, Tay- 
lor's death was attributed to deadly gas- 
troenteritis. But according to pundits, 
the same symptoms are characteristic 
of arsenic poisoning, and, they say, Tay- 
lor may have been murdered by ene- 
mles w string to do him in. Historical nov- 
elist Clara Rising even has two prime 
suspects; then-Vice President Millard 
Fillmore and Kentucky senator Henry 
Clay. Taylor was opposed to the exten- 
sion of slavery, Rising explains, and sup- 
ported the admission of California as a 
free state, something that would have 
made free states more numerous than 
slave ones. After Taylor's death, how- 
ever, Fillmore supported a compromise 
proposal by Clay in which California, a 
free state, was paired with New .Mexi- 
co, a slave state; the balance of power 
was kept intact. Motive enough to as- 
sassinate a president? Rising and oth- 
ers say maybe so. 

FORENSIC SLEUTHS: Clara Rising, Lou- 
isville: Bill Maples; Dr. Richard 
Greathouse, Jefferson County c 

Louisville; D\ George Nichols, medical 
examiner. Commonwealth of Kentucky. 
Louisville; and Dr. William Hamilton, med- 
ical examiner, Gainesville, Florida. 
CLUES UNEARTHED: Before exhuming 
Taylor on June 17, 1991, researchers 
checked with White House historical re- 
cords to determine if the president had 
been embalmed. In the 1800s, embalm- 
ing almost always involved the use of 
arsenic, and if he had been embalmed, 
it would have been impossible to tell 
whether Taylor had in fact been poi- 
soned. According to Rising, records 
show that Taylor's wife would not allow 
him to be embalmed. 

Oxidation of the coffin's lead liner 
caused by large quantities of seeping 
body fluids offers additional evidence 
that embalming did not occur. The 
researchers also sent tissue samples to 
the Louisville medical examiner's toxicol- 
ogy lab and to the Oak Ridge National 
Laboratory in Tennessee, where it was 
placed in a powerful research reactor 
and bombarded with neutrons. When 
bombarded with neutrons, different met- 
als give off different levels of radiation; 
arsenic, of course, has its own telltale 
signature. When the results were in, 
both the chemical and nuclear tests re- 
vealed only "normal levels of arsenic" 
consistent with neither embalming nor 

poisoning. The labs also checked for 
the presence of other heavy metals, in- 
cluding mercury and antimony, and 
found none. 

CONCLUSION: The detailed tests 
found no evidence of arsenic poison- 
ing. But despite the results, says Ma- 
ples, it's remotely possible that Taylor 
wks poisoned with arsenic after all and 
that the evidence has simply leached 
from his body over the years. 

Colorado Cannibal 

VICTIMS: Shannon Bell, Israel Swan, 
James Humphrey, George Noon, and 
Frank Miller, five prospectors seeking 
gold and silver in Colorado's San Juan 

DEATH NOTES: In the winter of 1874, 
the five victims hired one Alferd Pack- 
er to guide them through the mountains. 
But when Packer returned to town af- 
ter six weeks, he said he had lost the 
others in a snow storm. There had, in- 
deed, been a raging storm, but author- 
ities were suspicious because of Pack- 
er's appearance: Despite his claims of 
hardship and a shortage of food, he 
was noticeably fat and more interested 
in drinking than eating. In addition, he 
seemed to have far more money than 
he'd had before the trip. When a trav- 
eling artist located the remains of the 

missirc men, he discovered evidence 
of foul play and even sketched the 
scene for Harper's Weekly. Finally au- 
thorities reported "marks of extreme vio- 
lence" on the bodies of the victims and 
concluded that they had been mur- 
derec oy ax or hatchet. 
Douglas Ubelyker; Walter Birkby, foren- 
sic anthropologist, University of Arizo- 
na, Tucson; tool-mark expert Lucien 
Haag; and archaeologist James 
Ayres, Tucson, Arizona. 
MURDER MYSTERY: Before he could 
be charged with the murders, Packer 
escaped from authorities and remained 
at large for nine years. He was finally- 
captured in 1883 and at his trial de- 
clared that four of the men had been 
murdered by Shannon Bell. He himself 
shot and then hacked Bell to death in 
self-defense, he claimed, after Bell at- 
tacked him. Packer was convicted and 
sentenced to death but won a new trial 
on a technicality. He was convicted a 
second time and sentenced to 40 
years hard labor. At the turn of the cen- 
tury, however, a Denver newspaper col- 
umnist raised doubts about his guilt and 
succeeded in getting him paroled in 
1901. He died in 1907. Was Packer in- 
nocent, or was he a vicious killer who 



It's the future. 
And it arrives every 
week on the TV series 
that takes you to 
the leading edge of 
technology and beyond! 




I Opmet/pt 



Her sister, Janice, hardly reels conscious 
till late alternoon. Janice nibbles Iruit 
ana berries ana complains ol ner 
stomacn. Cora cats potatoes with buller and sour 
cream, one lihcs being 4 at. IL makes her leel 
powerlul ana hides ner wrinkles. Janice thinks 

though she would admit that — and even though 
Cora spends more time outside doing" the yard and 
(arm work — Cora s shin does look smoother. 
Janice has a slight stutter. Normally she speaks 
rapidly and in a hind 01 shorthand so as not to take 
up anyone's precious time, but with her stutter, she 
can hold people's attention (or a moment longer 




than she would otherwise dare. Cora, 
on the other hand, speaks slowly and 
if she had ever stuttered would have 
seen to it that she learned not to. 

Cora bought a genuine kilim rug to 
offset, she said, the bad taste of the flow- 
ery chintz covers Janice got for the 
couch and chairs. The rug and chairs 
look terrible in the same room, but Co- 
ra insists that her rug be there. Janice 
retaliated by pawning Mother's silver 
candelabras. Cora had never liked 
them, but she made a fuss anyway, and 
she left Janice's favorite silver spoon in 
the- mayonnaise jar until, polish as she 
would, Janice could never get rid of the 
blackish look. Janice punched a hole 
in each of Father's rubber boots. Cora 
wears them anyway. She hasn't said a 
single word about it, but she hangs her 
wet socks up conspicuously in the 

They wish they'd gotten married and 
moved away from their parent's old 
farm house. They wish . . . desperate- 
ly that they'd had children, though 
they know nothing of children — or hus- 
bands for that matter. As girls they 
worked hard at domestic things: can- 
ning, baking bread and pies, sew- 
ing .. . waiting to be good wives to al- 
most anybody, but nobody came to 
claim them. 

Janice is the one who worries. She's 
worried right now because she saw a 
light out in the far corner of the or- 
chard — a tiny, flickering light, She can 
just barely make it out through the misty 
rain. Cora says, "Nonsense." (She's an- 
gry because it's just the sort of thing Jan- 
ice would notice first.) Cora laughs as 
Janice goes around checking and re- 
oneo-dng a, 1 :he win cows and doors to 
see that they're securely locked. When 
Janice has finished, and stands staring 
out at the rain, she has a change of 
heart. "Whoever's out there must be 
cold and wet. Maybe hungry." 

"Nonsense," Cora says again. "Be- 
sides, whoever's out there probably de- 
serves it." 

Later, as Cora watches the light 
from her bedroom window, she thinks 
whoever it is who's camping out down 
there is probably eating her apples and 
making a mess. Cora likes to sleep 
with the windows open a crack even in 
weather like this, and she prides her- 
self on her courage, but, quietly, so 
that Janice, in the next room, won't 
hear, she eases her windows shut and 
locks them. 

In the morning the rain has stopped 
though it's foggy. Cora goes out (with 
Fathers waging slick, and wearing Fa- 
ther's boots and battered canvas hat) 
to the far end of the orchard. Something 
has certainly been there. It had pulled 

down perfectly good, live, apple brancn- 
es to make the nests. Cora doesn't like 
the way it ate apples, either, one or two 
bites out of lots of therh, and then it 
looks as if it had made itself sick and 
threw up not far from the fire. Cora 
cleans everything so it looks like no one 
has been there. She doesn't want Jan- 
ice to have the satisfaction of knowing 
anything about it. 

That afternoon, when Cora has 
gone off to have their pickup truck 
greased, Janice goes out to take a 
look. She, also, takes Father's walking 
stick, but she wears Mother's floppy, 
pink hat. She can see where the fire's 
been by the black smudge, and she 
can tell somebody's been up in the 
tree. She notices things Cora hadn't: lit- 
tle claw marks on a branch, a couple 
of apples that had been bitten into still 
hanging on the tree near the nesting 
place. There's a tiny piece of leathery 

begins to like the little 

light. Thinks 
it looks inviting, Homey. 

She forgets 

that she found that funny 

piece of 

leather and the claw marks. 9 

s:uff sl.jck :o one share twig. It's incred- 
ibly soft and downy and has a wet-dog 
smell. Janice takes it, thinking it might 
be an important clue. Also she wants 
to have something to show that she's 
been down there and seen more than 
Cora has. 

Cora comes back while Janice is up- 
stairs taking her nap. She sits down in 
the front room and reads an article in 
the Reader's Digest about how to help 
your husband communicate. When she 
hears Janice come down the stairs, Co- 
ra goes up for her nap. While Cora 
naps, Janice sets out grapes and a tan- 
gerine, and scrambles one egg. As she 
eats her early supper, she reads the 
same article Cora has just read. She 
feels sorry for Cora who seems to have 
nothing more exciting ttan mis sort of 
thing to read (along with her one hun- 
dred great books) whereas Janice has 
been reading: how famous COUPLES GET 
one of many such books that she 
keeps locked in her bedside cabinet. 
When she finishes eating, she cleans 

up the kitchen so it looks as if she 
hadn't been there. 

Cora comes down when Janice is in 
the front parlor (sliding doors shut) lis- 
tening to music. She has it turned so 
low Cora can hardly make it out, Might 
be Vivaldi. It's as if Janice doesn't 
want Cora to hear it in case she might 
enjoy it. At least that's how Cora takes 
it. Cora opens a can of spaghetti. For 
desert she takes a couple of apples 
from the "special" tree. She eats on the 
closed-in porch, watching the clouds. 
It looks as if it'll rain again tonight. 

About eight-thirty they each look out 
their different windows and see that the 
flickering light is there again. Cora 
says, "Damn it to hell," so loud that Jan- 
ice hears from two rooms away. At that 
moment Janice begins to like the little 
light, Thinks it looks inviting. Homey. 
She forgets that she found that funny 
piece of leather and those claw marks. 
Thinks most likely there's a young cou- 
ple in love out there. Their parents dis- 
approve and they have no place else 
to go but her orchard. Or perhaps it's 
a young person. Teenager; maybe, 
cold and wet. She has a hard time sleep- 
ing, worrying and wondering about who- 
ever it is, thoug-i shot si t g.-ad she lock- 
ed the house up tight. 

The next day begins almost exactly 
like the one before, with Cora going out 
to the orchard first and cleaning up — 
or trying to — all the signs of anything hav- 
ing been there, and with Janice com- 
ing out later to pick up the clues that 
are left. Janice finds that the same 
branch is scratched up even more 
than it was before, and this time Cora 
had left the vomit (full of bits of apple 
peel) behind the tree. Perhaps she 
hadn't noticed it. Apples — or at teas! so 
many app'es aren't agreeing with the lov- 
ers. (In spite of the clues, Janice pre- 
fers to think that it's lovers.) She feels 
sorry about the all-night rain. There's no 
sign that they had a tent or shelter of 
any kind, poor things. 

By the third night, though, the weath- 
er finally clears. Stars are out and a ti- 
ny moon. Cora and Janice stand in the 
front room, each at a different window, 
looking out towa'ds where the light had 
been. An ole' r.rventy-eight record is on, 
Fritz Krei^'tT playing a 3ach Chacon- 
ne. Janice says, "You'd think, especial- 
ly since it's not raining. . . ." 

Cora says, "Good riddance," 
though she, too, feels a sense of regret. 
At least something unusual had been 
happening. "Don't forget," Cora says, 
"the state prison's only ninety miles 

Little light or no little light, they both 
check the windows and doors and 

Ten recheck -.he ores the other had al- 
ready checked, or, at least Cora re- 
checks all the ones Janice had seen to. 
Janice sees her do it and Cora sees her 
noticing, so Cora says, "With what 
they're doing in genetic engineering, it 
could be anything at all out there. 
They make mistakes and peculiar 
things escape. You don't hear about it 
because it's classified. People disap- 
prove so they don't let the news get 
out." Ever since she was six years old, 
Cora has been trying to scare her young- 
er sister, though, as usual, she ends up 
scaring herself. 

But then, just as they are about to 
give up and go off to bed, there's the 
light again. "Ah." Janice breathes out 
as though she had been holding her 
breath. "There it is, finally." 

"You've got a lot to learn," Cora 
says. She'd heard the relief in Janice's 
big sigh. "Anyway, I'm off to bed, and 
you'd better come soon, too, if you 
know what's good for you." 

"I know what's good for me," Janice 
says. She would have stayed up too 
late just for spite, but how she has an- 
other, secret reason for doing it. She 
sits reading an article in Cosmopolitan 
about how to be more sexually attrac- 
tive to your husband. Around midnight, 
even downstairs, she can hear Cora 

snoring. Janice goes out to the kitch- 
en. Moves around it like a litlle mouse. 
She's good at that. Gets out Mother's 
teakwood tray, takes big slices of rye 
bread mm Cora's stash, takes a can 
of Cora's tunafish. (Janice knows she'll 
notice. Cora has them all counted up.) 
Takes butter and mayonnaise from Co- 
ra's side of the refrigerator. Makes 
three tunafish sandwiches. Places 
them on three of Mother's gold- 
rimmed plates along with some of her 
own celery, radishes and grapes. 
Then she sits down and eats one plate- 
ful herself, She hasn't let herself have 
a tunafish sandwich, especially not one 
with mayonnaise and butter and rye 
bread, in quite some time. 

It's only when Janice is halfway out 
in the orchard that she remembers 
what Cora said about the prison and 
thinks maybe there's some sort of es- 
caped criminal out there — a rapist or a 
mu'de'er, and here she is, wearing on- 
ly her bathrobe and nightgown, in her 
slippers, and without even Father's walk- 
ing stick. (Though the walking stick 
would probably just have been a handy 
thing for the criminal to attack her 
with.) She stops, puts the tray down, 
then moves forward. She's had a lot of 
practice creeping- -creeping upon Co- 
ra ever since they were little. Used to 

yell, "Boo," but now shouts o-.jI anything 
to make her jump. Or not even shout- 
ing. Creeping up and standing very 
close and suddenly whispering right by 
her ear can make Cora jump as much 
as a loud noise. Janice sneaks along 
slowly. Has to step over where whoev- 
er it is has already thrown up. Some- 
thing is huddling in front of the fire 
wrapped in what at first seems to be an 
army blanket. Why it Is a child. Poor 
thing. She'd known it all the time. But 
then the creature moves, stretches, 
makes a squeaky sound, and she 
sees it's either the largest bat, or the 
smallest little old man she's ever seen. 
She's wondering if this is what Cora 
meant by genelic engineering. 

Then the creature s~.aros up and Jan- 
ice is shocked. He has such a large pe- 
nis that Janice thinks back to the hors- 
es and bulls they used to have. It's a 
Pan-type penis, more or less permanent- 
ly erect and hooked up tight against his 
stomach, though Janice doesn't know 
this about a Pan's penis, and, anyway, 
this is definitely not some sort of Pan. 

The article im Cosmopolitan comes in- 
stantly to her mind, plus the other, sex- 
ier books that she has locked in her bed- 
side cabinet. Isn't there, in all this, 
some way to permanently outdo Cora? 
Whether she ever finds out about it or 
not? Slowly Janice backs up, turns, 
goes right past her tray (the gleam of 
silverware helps her know where it is), 
goes to the house and down into the 

They'd always had dogs. Big ores. 
For safety. But Mr. Jones (called 
Jonesy) had only died a few months 
ago and Cora is still grieving, or so she 
keeps saying. Since the dog had be- 
come blind, diabetic, and incontinent in 
his last years, Janice is relieved that 
he's gone. Besides, she has her heart 
set on something small and more trac- 
table, some sort of terrier, but now she's 
glad Jonesy was large and difficult to 
manage. His metal choke collar and 
chain leash are still in the cellar. She 
wraps them in a cloth bag to keep 
them from making any clanking noises 
and heads back out, picking up the 
tray of food on the way. 

As she comes close to the fire, she 
begins to hum. This time she wants him 
to know she's coming, The creature 
sits in the tree now and watches her 
with red glinting eyes. She puts the 
tray down and begins to talk softly as 
though she were trying to calm old 
Jonesy. She even calls the thing Mr. 
Jones. At first by mistake and then on 
purpose. He watches. Moves nothing 
but his eyes and big ears. His wings, 
folded up along his arms and dangling, 
are army-olive drab like that piece she 

found, but his body is a little tights. She 
can tell that even in this moonlight. 

Now that she's closer and leys star- 
tled than before, she can see that 
there's something terribly wrong, One 
leathery wing is torn and twisted. He's 
helpless. Or almost. Probably in pain. 
Janice feels a rush of joy. 

She breaks off a bit of tunafish sand- 
wich and slowly, talking softly all the 
time, she holds it towards his little, 
clawed hand. Equally slowly, he reach- 
es out to take it. She keeps this up un- 
til almost all of one plateful is eaten. But 
suddenly the creature jumps out of the 
tree, turns around and throws up. 

Janice knows a vulnerable moment 
when she sees one. As he leans back 
on his heels between spasms, she fas- 
tens the choke collar around his neck, 
and twists the other end of the chain 
leash around her wrist. 

He only makes two attempts to es- 
cape: tries to flap himself into the air, 
but it's obviously painful for him; then 
he tries to run. His legs are bowed, his 
gait rocking and clumsy. After these two 
a:!ernpls a; getting away : he seems to 
realize it's hopeless. Janice can see in 
his eyes that he's given up — too sick 
and tired to care. Probably happy to be 
captured and looked after at last. 

She leads him back to the house and 
down into the basement, Her own qui- 
et creeping makes him quiet, too. He 
seems to sense that he's to be a secret 
and that perhaps his life depends on 
it. It was hard for him to walk all the way 
across the orchard. He doesn't seem to 
be built for anything but flying. 

There is an old coal room, not used 
since they got oil heat, Janice makes a 
nest for him there, first chaining him to 
one of the pipes. She gets ni~ blankets, 
water, an empty pail with lid. She 
makes him put on a pair of her under- 
pants. She has to use a cord around 
his waist to make them stay up. She won- 
ders what she should leave him to eat 
that would stay down? Then brings him 
chamomile tea, dry toast, one very 
small potato. That's all. She doesn't 
want to be cleaning up a lot of vomit. 

He's so tractable through all this 
that she loses all fear of him. Pats his 
head as if he were old Jonesy. Strokes 
the wonderful softness of his wings. 
Thinks: If those were cut off, he'd look 
like a small old man with long, hard fin- 
gernails. Misshapen, but not much 
more so than other people, And 
clothes can hide things. Without the 
dark wings, he'd look lighter. His body 
is that color that's always described as 
cafe au lait. She would have preferred 
it if he'd been clearly a white person, 
but, who knows, maybe a little while in 
the cellar will make him paler. 

After a last rubbing of his head be- 
hind his too-large ears, Janice padlocks 
the coal room and goes up to her bed- 
room, but she's too excited to sleep. 
She reads a chapter in are you happy 
with your sex life?, the o.ne on "How to 
Turn Your Man into a Lusting Animal." 
("The feet of both sexes are exquisite- 
ly sensitive," and. "Let your eyes 
speak, but first make sure he's locking 
at you." "Surrender. When he thinks 
he's leading, your man feels strong in 
every way.") Janice thinks she will 
have to be the one to take the initiative, 
though she'll try to make him feel that 
he's the boss — even though he'll be 
wearing the choke collar. 

For a change, Janice wakes up just as 

early as Cora does. Earlier, in fact, and 
she lies in bed making plans until it is 
late enough to get up. She gets a lot of 
good ideas. She comes down stairs vviis- 
tling Vivaldi — off key, as usual, but she's 
not doing it to make Cora angry this 
time, She really can't whistle on key. Co- B 
ra knows that Janice knows Cora 
hates the way she whistles. Cora 
thinks that if Janice really tried, she 
could be just as in tune as Cora always 
is. Cora thinks Janice got up early just 
so she could spoil Cora's breakfast by 
s'itir.g across from her and looking usi 
l : ke Mother used to look when she dis- 
approved of Father's table manners. 
And Cora notices, even before she 
makes her omelet, that one can of tuna- 
fish is missing, and that her loaf of rye 

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oreac lias gone down by several slic 
es. She takes a quart of strawoer.-les 
from Janice's side of the refrigerator 
and eats them all, not even bothering 
to wash them. 

Janice doesn't say a word, or even 
do anything. She doesn't care, except 
that Jonesy might have wanted some. 
Janice is feeing ■"-agnanrnous and pow- 
erful. She feels so good she even of- 
fers Cora some of her herb tea. Cora 
takes the offer as ironic, especially 
since she knows that Janice knows she 
never drinks herb tea. She retaliates by 
saying that, since they're both up so ear- 
ly, they should take advantage of it and 
go out to the beach to get more 
lakeweed for the garden. 

Janice knows that Cora decided 
this just to make her pay for the tunaf ish 
and mayonnaise and such, but she 
still feels magnanimous— kindly to the 
whole world. She doesn't even say 
that they'd already done that twice in 
the spring, and that what they needed 
now were hay bales to put around the 
foundations of the house for the winter, 
All she says is, "No." 

It's never been their way to shirk 
their duties no matter how angry they 
might be with each other. When it 
comes to work, they've always made a 
good team. But now Janice is adamant. 
She says she has something important 
to do. She's not ever said this before, 
nor has she ever had something import- 
ant to do. Cora has always been the 
one who did important things. This 
time Cora can't persuade Janice to 
change her mind, nor can she per- 
suade her that there's nothing import- 
ant to be done — or nothing more import- 
ant than lakeweed. 

Finally Cora gives up and goes off 
alone. She hadn't meant to go. She's 
never gone off to get lakeweed by her- 
self, but she goes anyway, hoping to 
make Janice feel guilty. Except Cora 
knows something is going on. She's not 
sure what, but she's going to be on her 

As soon as Janice hears the old pick- 
up crunch away on the gravel drive, she 
gees down in the basement, bringing 
along Father's old stra : ghl razor (fresh- 
ly sharpened), -ubb re alcohol and ban- 
dages. Also, to make it easier on him, 
a bottle of sherry. 

Cora comes back, tired and sandy, 
around six-thirty. Her face is red and 

she has big, dried, sweat marks on her 
blue farmer's shirt, across the back and 
under the arms. She smells fishy. She's 
so tired she staggers as she climbs the 
porch steps. Even before she gets in- 
side, she knows odd things are still go- 
ing on. There's the smells ... of beef 

stew or some such, onions, maybe a 
mince pie, and there, on the hall table, 
a glass of sherry is set out for her. Or 
seems to be for her. Or looks like sher- 
ry, Though the day was hot, these fali 
evenings are cool, and Janice has laid 
a fire in the fireplace, and not badly 
done. Cora always knew Janice could 
do it properly if she really tried. Cora 
fakes che sherry and sits on the footstoot 
of Father's big chair. It's one of the 
ones Janice had covered in a flowery 
pattern — looks like pinkish-blue hydran- 
gea. Cora turns away from it and looks 
at the fire. Thinks: All this has got to be 
because of something else. Or maybe 
it's going to be a practical joke. If she 
lets down her guard she'll be in for big 
trouble. But even if if's a joke, might as 
well take advantage of it for as long as 
she can. The sherry relaxes her. She'll 
go up and shower — if, that is, Janice 
has left her any hot water. 

6Mf. Jones 
is in pain. Janice is glad 

of it. She 

knows a wild thing— or 

even a not 

so wild thing — appreciates 


nursed back to health. 5 

For several days, Mr. Jones is in pain, 
Janice is glad of if. She knows how a 
wild thing — or even a not so wild thing — 
appreciates being nursed back to 
health. She hopes Mr. Jones was too 
drunk to remember about the . . . re- 
moval . . . amputation . . . whatever 
you'd call it. (Funny, he only has four 
fingers on each hand, She'd not noticed 
ihat at first.) 

As soon as he's better, she hopes to 
bond him to her in a different way. 

Cora is still suspicious, but doesn't 
know what to be suspicious about. The 
good feed is going on and on. After sup- 
per Janice cleans up and doesn't ask 
Cora for help even though Janice has 
done all the cooking. And Janice dis- 
appears for hours at a time. Goes up 
to take her nap — or so she says, but Co- 
ra knows for a fact that she's not in her 
bedroom, After the dishes are cleaned 
up in the evenings, Janice sews or 
knits. It's not hard to see that she's knit- 
ting a child-sized sweater, sewing a 
child-sized pair of trousers. At the 
same time, she's working on a white 

dress, lacy and low necked. Cora 
thinks much too low necked for some- 
one Janice's age. But perhaps its not 
for Janice. Maybe Janice has some 
news she's keeping from Cora. That 
would be just like her. Someone is get- 
■ ir.g carried c coming for s n visit. Or may- 
be both: someone getting married and 
a child is coming to visit. 

Mr. Jones is getting better, eating 
soups, nuis arc seeds and keeping ev- 
erything down, finally. Janice is happy 
lo see Inai his skh has 'aced some. He 
might pass for a gnarled, little Mexican, 
or maybe a fairly light India Indian. And 
he's beginning to understand some 
words. She's been talking to him a lot, 
more or less as she used to talk to old 
Jonesy. He knows; good boy and bad 
boy, and sit, lie down, be quiet. . . . 
She Slinks he even has the concept of, 
"I love you." She'd never said that to 
any other creature ever before, no; even 
to the pony they'd had when they were 
little, She's been doing a lot of patting, 
back rubbing, scratching under the 
chin and behind the ears. Though he's 
always wearing a pair of her underpants 
tied up around his waist, every now and 
then she notices his penis swelling up 
even larger than it already is, though 
she hasn't even tried the stroking of [he 
exquisitely sensitive feet yet. 

One night, afier reac'hc over again 
the chapter, "How to Turn Your Man in- 
to a Lusting Animal," she puts on her 
flowery summer nightgown (even 
though the nights are colder than ever 
and they haven't started up the furnace 
yet). She puts on lipstick, eyeshadow, 
perfume, combs her hair out and lets it 
hang over her shoulders. . . .(She's on- 
ly graying a little bit at the temples, 
Thank God not like Cora; she's almost 
completely gray.) She goes down into 
the cellar with a glass of sherry for 
each of them. Not too much, though. 
She's read about alcohol and sex. She 
tells him she loves him several times, 
kisses him on the cheeks and then on 
the neck, just below the choke collar. 
Finally she kisses his lips. They are 
thin and closed tight. She can feel the 
teeth behind them. Then she rolls her 
nightgown up to her chin. She hopes 
he likes what he sees even though 
she's not young anymore. (If anything, 
he looks surprised.) But no sooner has 
she lain herself down beside him, than 
it's over, She's even wondering, Did it 
really happen? Except, yes, there's 
blood and it did hurt, But this isn't at all 
like the books said it would be or 
should be. She's read aboul prema'jre 
ejr.icuiriiion. This must be it. Maybe lat- 
er, when he knows more words, they 
can go for sex therapy. But— oops — 
there he goes again, and just as fast 


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»tt»F» 13332-6X26-43 

Article By Susan Skog • Illustration By Nenad lakesevic and Sonja Lamut 

ram vigilant valets heaters just sit there, maybe efficiency fever 

"ram vigilant valets heaters just 
to luscious all-night forev~~ ■ 
delis, Ai 

in a laaus noiogy marKet 

ligh-tech gizm 

enticing aphrodisiac 

washing machines, 

fuzzy-logic heaters. 

siderable yen. Take water heaters. 
Many Japanese families use instanta- 
neous or "tankless" gas water heaters 
that can hang on a wall and heat water 
when needed. 

Then there's the combination toilet/ 
bathroom sink-, another common fixture 
in Japanese homes. The toilet/sink al- 
lows you to flush and then wash your 
hands with the water that comes out to 
fill the tank. (Some models have a 
flush lever that swings left for a half- 
tank flush and right for the full McCoy.) 

Economic necessity and cultural 
predisposition have conditioned the 
Japanese to embrace efficient technol- 
og es. says design anhrooolog.sf Leon- 
ard Koren. "Americans work from a» 
moral base: Saving the environment is 
good and moral. The Japanese work 
from a pragmatic perspective: Environ- 
mentally friendly action is often cost 
effective and intelligent. Different cul- 
tures, different rationalizations. I don't 
think the Japanese do it better, just 
different y." says Koren, who describes 
many culturally driven Japanese appli- 
ances and gadgets in his book, 283 Use- 
ful Ideas from Japan. 

As a result, efficient, environmental- 
ly friendly devices abound in the typi- 
cal Japanese home. There are fuzzy- 
logic heaters that sense the presence 
of a person and the dimensions and 
temperature of a room and then warm 
the occupied space appropriately. 
Housewives covet their Zabu Zabu 
balls thai supposedly save on laundry 
detergent because they intensify the 
swirling turbulence in washing ma- 
chines. Energy-gobbling dishwashers 
are noticeably absent. A high-spin- 
speed clothes washer that literally 
whips clothes dry at 800 rpm is availa- 
ble. Also on the market is a fuzzy-logic 
clothes washer that senses the height 
and dirtiness of clothes and adjusts the 
hot water accordingly. Passionate 
about the purifying power of the sun, 
Japanese often hang their clothes out- 
side to dry — saving more yen. 

"Japanese have been conditioned to 
embrace energy-saving environmental 
technologies if and only if they positive- 
ly affect the pocketbook," explains Ko- 
ren. "Japanese will go much farther out 
of their way to save a little money than 
will their American equivalents." 

But before prophets of doom wail 
that ecoappliances are befalling the 
fate of TVs, VCRs, and other technol- 
ogies Japan dominates, never under- 
estimate America's ability to master- 
mind new green machines. It was Al- 
bert Einstein, after all, who patented 
early improvements on a gas-powered 
heat-pump system — one of the 1990s' 
hot new home-energy technologies. 


"We have a tremendous ability to in- 
novate in this country," says Peter Mill- 
er, a senior scientist with the Natural 
Resources Defense Council (NRDC). 
"We have a tremendous research infra- 
structure that's hopefully being revital- 
ized in the years ahead. I see no rea- 
son why we wouldn't be able to make 
iremendous strides in innovation." Mill- 
er recently spearheaded a California-" 
based study that evaluated about 125 
erne:gir g energy ef-icient technologies 
likely to be commercialized between 
now and the year 2002. These green 
technologies are touted in a new report, 
"Emerging Technologies to Improve En- 
ergy Efficiency in the Residential and 
Commercial Sectors." The study was 
conducted by the American Council for 
an Energy-Efficient Economy in Wash- 
ington, DC, and the Davis Energy 
Group and E-Source in Colorado. 

The report could be an enticing aph- 


you've ozonated or 


your jeans, you'll soon 

be able 

to zap them in your 


microwave clothes dryer.? 

rodisiac for consumers lusting for the lat- 
est in home fixtures. "Americans are 
great shoppers. We love to hoar about 
new products," Miller says. Well, soon 
we'll hear more about low-water dish- 
washers, insulating pop cozies for wa- 
ter heaters, scrubbing-bubble washing 
machines, Golden Carrot refrigerators, 
and — ozonated laundering. 

If you think the Japanese combo toi- 
let/sink is a clever way to conserve wa- 
ter, check out a new commercial laun- 
dering system, It needs no detergent, 
operates in cold water, and recycles 
most of the water. Instead, the system, 
patented by a Florida firm called Tri-0- 
Clean, saturates wash water with ozone, 
an oxidant used to disinfect drinking 
and swimming-pool water. Water from 
the washer is recovered, filtered, replen- 
ished with ozone, and reused for an- 
other washing. A prototype oi the ozone 
commercial laundering system is sav- 
ing the Jacksonville, Florida, Man ott Ho- 
tel 51,800 a month on water and en- 
ergy. Another system, in the St. Lucie 
County correctional facility in Florida, 

Saves 530.000 a year and 2.5 million gal- 
lons of water. 

One of the most promising green tech- 
nologies, however, will tackle ordinary 
household laundry. Get ready for — big 
breath — the horizontal-axis, top-loading, 
h:gh-spn-sp£Gd clothes washer. Stab- 
er Industries, an Ohio washing-machine 
remanufacturing firm, will begin pro- 
duction of such a green machine this 
year. It will cut hot-water use more 
than 50 percent because the washtub 
is only partially filled, and with each ro- 
tation, clothes are submerged or tum- 
bled in the water. Frigidaire also wil 
push its newly revamped horizontal- 
axis model under an environmental- 
marketing umbrella. 

"Commercialization of horizontal 
ax s clothes washers may expand rap- 
idly in the next three to five years be- 
cause they not only save energy, they 
use a lot less water," says John Morrill, 
business manager for the American 
Council for an Energy-Efficient Econo- 
my (ACEEE) in Washington, DC. "If our 
country continues to have its environ- 
mental consciousness raised, the con- 
cept of using less and saving more will 
appeal to people," Morrill contends, 

Once you've ozonated or dipped 
your jeans, you'll soon be able to zap 
them in your new microwave clothes dry- 
er. Don't freak; the dryer compensates 
for z-ippers, snaps, and rivets. The mi- 
crowave model, in addition to saving en- 
ergy, reduces woar on clothes and re- 
duces drying time by 25 percent. The 
Electric Power Research Institute and 
several manufacturers have been work- 
ing on the microwave clothes dryer 
since 1990 and are gunning for a com- 
mercial model by 1994. 

Meanwhile, over in the kitchen, ultra- 
sonic dishwashers will gently bombard 
grimy dish grease with — this will rock 
your crocks — sound waves. Instead of 
being sprayed, dishes are immersed in 
a tank of water and bombarded with 
high-frequency sound waves that cre- 
ate tiny vapor bubbles to dislodge 
cakedo.n grime. The upshot: a 25- to 
50-percent drop in hot-water use. South- 
ern California Edison is installing two pro- 
totypes (at the University of Caliiom a. 
Santa Barbara, and another state facili- 
ty yet to be identified) of the ultrasonic 
dishwasher manufactured by a Cali- 
fornia firm, Ultrasonic Products. 

Another hot, on-the-horizon technol- 
ogy is a pilotless instantaneous gas wa- 
ter heater — to satisfy our penchant for 
instantaneous hot water in an environ- 
mentally friendly manner. If you don't 
live in a cold climate, high-efficiency 
gas storage water heaters are still your 
best bet. "But, if we come out with an 
on-demand water heater without an auto- 

■i.iud a m=ii.a 

Chief of surgery, 
Steven A. Rosen- 
be'rg peered intently 
at two x-rays the resi- 
dent had slapped on the 
viewing screen. The 
original, taken after sur- 
geries and chemo- 
therapy had failed to halt 
the spread of Mr. 
Jensen's colon cancer, 
showed his lungs filled 
with tumors. The x-ray 
taken a few hours ago 
showed Jensen's can- 
cer almost vanished, 

It was 1985 and the 
first time Rosenberg had 
seen tumors shrink in a 
human as a result of 
immunotherapy, "I was 
reluctant to believe it," 
he recalls, "so we 
ordered a series of 
tomograms, longitudinal 
slices through the lungs, 
showing precisely the 
amount of tumor. The 
next morning, I was 
ready for another disap- 
pointment, but when I 
got on the view box, 
sure enough, most of the 
tumors were gone." 
Rosenberg rushed up to 
see Jensen and his wife: 
"Good news; it looks 
like your cancer is going 
away!" Barely cracking 
a smile, James Jensen 
nodded, "Yeah, I knew 


of ms OWN 
devising, he is 
ixsm tni war 
m>Mmi cancer. 





The Transformed Cell 
(Putnam's, 1992) 


"It was never my 
intention to practice the 

medicine of today." 


"You need the courage 
to seem foolish and 
to fail. I hope to never 
tail again, though I 
do on a daily basis. 
What's critical is that 
you not fear failure. 
Failure must be some- 
thing that focuses 
and energizes rather 
than defeats. Then you 
can make progress." 


None, in the last 450 


"Anytime you try to do 
something different, 
to introduce a technol- 
ogy that may benefit 
humanity, it strikes fear in 
the hearts of people 
who don't fully under- 
stand it. That's a lot 
of people." 

this was going to work." For the stunned 
scientist, it was an unforgettable moment. 
"Every patient we treated knew it was go- 
ing to work. Only this time it actually had!" 

Eight years after Jensen's spectacular 
recovery, Rosenberg and his staff at the 
National Cancer Institute (NCI), Bethesda, 
Maryland, treat four to five patients a 
week out of thousands of cancer victims 
who have failed all other previous cancer 
therapies and are considered "terminal." 
Medical centers around the world also ad- 
minister variations of Rosenberg's brain- 
child — adoptive immunotherapy — mobiliz- 
ing immune-system cells and hormones to 
search out and destroy a patient's cancer. 

Rosenberg's appointment as chief of sur- 
gery in 1974, one month shy of his thirty- 
fourth birthday, carried with it an unwritten 
mandate: Give us the next cancer thera- 
py, Standard therapies were advancing in 
millimeters. Rosenberg recalls. "People 
were finally ready to admit that we had to 
have new approaches and were struggling 
to figure out what they might be, One 
thing I did on walking into my office was 
tack on the wall this quote of John Hunt- 
er, the great eighteenth-century surgeon: 
'Surgery is like an armed savage who at- 
tempts to get by force that which a civilized 
man would get by stratagem.'" 

The stratagem Rosenberg devised uti- 
lized the immune system's rejection of for- 
eign tissues. "My initial plan was to identi- 
fy T cells that would specifically recognize 
cancer, then try to evolve enough of them 
In the patient to cause the cancer to go 
away." For three years, Rosenberg hunt- 
ed that elusive T cell to no avail. But a 
year after the discovery of interleukin 2 (IL- 
2), a molecule made by some T cells that 
induces them to rapidly proliferate, he re- 
alized IL-2 could recast the shape of his 
research. "In a few minutes in 1977," he 
evolved the plan for what he spent the 
next 16 years doing. 

He began taking tumor killers from dish 
to mice and, finally, to people. Along the 
way, he made another discovery: The cell 
ridding mice of tiny tumors was not a clas- 
sic T cell. Rosenberg christened the un- 
known warrior a LAK (lymphokine-activated 
killer) cell. After a decade of grueling stop- 
and-go lab work and 76 consecutive pa- 
tient deaths, Rosenberg got his first suc- 

cesses with Jensen and others. -His ther- 
apy in the mid Eighties consisted of re- 
moving white blood cells from a patient, 
multiplying them in IL-2 for a few days, and 
then returning billions of new LAK cells to 
Ihe patient's bloodstream, followed by mas- 
sive infusions of IL-2 to activate them. 

But only 10 percent of his patients re- 
sponded completely to this regimen. Now 
more than ever, Rosenberg wanted the pow- 
erfully specific killer he'd postulated in 
1974. Modifying his research procedures 
once again, he found that killer inside the 
tumor itself. He called it TIL, tumor-infiltrat- 
ing lymphocyte. Later, he was astonished 
when after a lecture in Israel someone 
asked, "Did you know that TIL is the He- 
brew word for missile?" 

Although TIL killed nearly 100 times 
more potently than LAK cells, only in mel- 
anoma patients did his success rate ap- 
proach 50 percent. Rosenberg decided 
the way to improve the guidance system 
and warhead of his missile was gene ther- 
apy, In 1989, he says, "we were no long- 
er limited to the cells nature provides. By- 
inserting genes into cells, we could give 
them properties no cell had seen in the 
course of evolution." Genetically modify- 
ing TIL to make them react more vigorous- 
ly against cancers is a way of "educating" 
them. "Right now, our lymphocytes are on- 
ly in kindergarten," he laughs, "and we 
need to make them Ph.D.'s." 

Rosenberg is using these smarter TIL as 
a tool to pinpoint tumor antigens shared 
by people with the same type of cancer. 
Cloning genes that encode for shared an- 
tigens paves the way for development not 
only of cures for individual cases of can- 
cer, but for vaccines, mass immunizations, 
elimination of entire categories of cancer. 
"We're not there yet," he admits, "but at 
least for melanoma, we're hot on the trail. 
It may be possible for other cancers," 

Exiting his office, Rosenberg, 53, 
shows the compact, honed movements of 
an athlete. As he clasps a resident's 
hand, pauses to brief a lab technician, his 
warmth and ease of command are unmis- 
takable, This man who cares for patients 
who are dying — or die that day — appears 
relaxed even if he is inwardly driven. But 
superstar clinician and researcher Rosen- 
berg knows he can scarcely afford com- 



UFO caravans cross the former stomping grounds 
of the notorious U2 



intrigued that he ended 
ing a camping group devoted to r 1 
• ' u ~ mystery craft. 

Nothing happened— 

smog mechanic who described ; 
counter'' that had occurred just three i 

!. Asforspecul 
sup Nellis lights, they run the ga 

ette revealed a thirty-f 

, cret aircraft and weaponry with 

M ellis, and probably the sightings are from t 

As for Nellis, "The Air Force con 

, have no comment about anything th 
saucer seekers to the best ob- ranges," ei "* 
i Bureau of Land Managerr 
area that borders the Nellis range. stant observations, the mystery of the light 

According to Schultz, recent sightings have revealed— A J. S. RAYL 



For the past 30 years, 
UFOIogists have character- 

<perience involving bi- 

. _.., _jcording to 
California psychologist 
Richard Boylan, the ugli- 
ness of abduction I 

Want to talk about it? 
Call 1-900-407-4494, 
ext. 70102 and give u: 

You must be 18 

only. Sponsored by 

P.O. Box 166, Holly- 
wood, California 90078. 


consciousness school. 
Among the 67 abducte- 
have worked with, 
61 percent felt positive 
about the experience 

cent said thev wished il 

The Mummy's Tale 


| tongue sticking out. An 

fliTT 1 

hood sexual abuse. 

Becker doesn't agree. 
Most people simply do not 

)nds. "If humans did hip and a 

is allegedly degenerative cervical dis 
, they would be CAT scans showed optic 

for worm infestation of t : 

probably the result of 
eating the fatty food 

the statue 






Entrepreneur Joseph 
| Klamt, who produces ft 
y with partner Dai 

: .u,~.' of Transylvania 
to permit remov ' ' 







I Filipov, a native of 
connections to cut through I 

some 94 pounds of din 

The new jewelry line 

sold via mail order, has 

I from $13.95 for silver 


To ward off vampires, you Rom 

<arat-gold pendant. A 
Hon of the profits go to 


ring party 
», cuiudil daunting 
kjoII perfect fig- 
' ;t, they are 
■>. since June of 
i^2, 24 of the do" 
have turned up in 
large chain stores ... 
the Sandusky, Ohio, 
area with breasts and 
groins slashed. Accord- 
ing to Perkins Township 
detective Timothy 
McClung, who is investi- 
gating the case, police 
are taking the crimes 
seriously. "We don't 

who have worked with 
' " >y Dahmer/Charles 
Manson-type killers 

probabiy looking for a 
white male, age 16to30 
with a serious sexual 
dysfunction who ( 
manifest violence 

...jde, McClung says, 

but he h 



the'back seat of I — 
"What worried us," 


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caller is asked to leave a message 
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1, Call the 900 EDITOR LINE: 
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native music to the latest R.E.M. hit. 

"Radio is a powerful medium for us 
not only because of our oral tradition 
and the fact that we don't have our own 
television stations, but.also because it 
reaches into surrounding communities 
and helps aHev.ats the slereo - ypes and 
racism toward Native Americans by 
communicating our side of the issues," 
says Alex Looking Elk, who has re- 
ceived funding to start up a new sta- 
tion on the Standing Rock Reservation 
in Little Eagle, South Dakota. Through 
AIROS, Native American programs 
could also be downlinked to other pub- 
lic-broadcas:irc stations :hrcjghoul '.he 
country, serving to more effectively as- 
similate Native American viewpoints in- 
to the American melting pot. 

From here on out, says Baldwin, eve- 
rything will depend on information ac- 
cess and innovative uses of the new 
communications :ec~noi'jgies. "The In- 
formation Age is here, and with these 
technologies, our languages, traditions, 
and knowledge live." 

Indeed, technology may give Native 
Americans the power they need to pre- 
serve their independence in the face of 
predominant Western culture. Since the 
arrival of European explorers, disease, 
war, racism, and poverty have ravaged 
the Native American population. An es- 
timated 20 million American Indians per- 
ished in the worst racial holocaust in all 
of history. But, however precariously, 
tribes held onto their sovereignty, and 
the U.S. government reluctantly acknowl- 
edged them as legal "dependent sov- 
ereign nations" within the nation and as- 
sumed a federal trust responsibility for 
them. Native Americans are the only 
group specifically identified as distinct 
political entities in the U.S. Constitution— 
a document whose essential principles 
were adapted from the Iroquois 
League of Nations. Even so, American 
Indians were sterectyoec and treated 
like "savages," their lands plundered. 

With Manifest Destiny and Western ex- 
pansion in the 1800s, settlers and the 
U.S. military killed Native American 
men, women, and children in bloody fron- 
tier battles and imprisoned survivors on 
reservations, changing then rioslylos le- 
aver and threatening their cultures 
with extinction. But, the vanishing Amer- 
icans didn't vanish; their cultures went 
underground until the mid Seventies 
when the civil-rights movement finally 
iOi.'C'ied their plight. Tne passage of the 
Indian Seli-Determiratio'"i and Educa- 
tion Assistance Act, PL 93-638, in 1975. 
gave tribes — which have rights similar 

■o states— more independence to take 
control of their nations. "Things are slow- 
ly getting better," says Michael Ander- 
son, director of the National Congress 
for American Indians (NCAI). 

Today, tribes are slowly finding 
ways to improve their economies with 
investments in communications, environ- 
mental, and gambling technologies. 
More money brings better educational 
and health-care systems, which is cru- 
cial to a peoolc ■.■vhese average lifespan 
is now 45 years and who has higher 
rates of unemployment, suicide, high- 
school dropouts, and alcoholism than 
any other group. The Mills Lacs band 
of the Ojibwe tribe, for instance, has re- 
duced unemployment from 50 percent 
to zero through its state-of-the-art casi- 
nos, building schools and a medica cen- 
ter with the profits. And the Passa- 
maquoddy tribe invested a $40-million 
and-claim case award toward a new pol- 
lution-control system, called a recovery 
scruober. which combats acid rain. 

Despite tnese shining examples, how- 
ever, Self-Determination has also 
stirred animosity from numerous anti- 
Native American groups who continue 
to call for an abrogation of treaties, 
usually over land and resource issues. 
While the government has honored 
some portions of the 370 treaties 
signed with tribes, in one way or anoth- 
er, it has broken every treaty. Mar. 
tribes are still battling for control o* 
lands, natural resources, and rights 
that are inherent on the paper of those 
century-old documents. "Those docu- 
ments are in the words of the U.S. gov- 
ernment, the supreme law of the land, 
but that hasn't meant much to them," 
says Paula Starr-Robideau. assistant 
director of the Southern California 
Indian Center. "The bows and arrows 
are gone. Our battles are now being 
fought on paper, in the courts, and 
in Congress." 

The Black Hills case is a classic ex- 
ample. For the Sioux, the Black Hills are 
sacred, the "Heart of Everything That 
Is." For the government, it offers gold 
and other minerals as well as great 
space for recreation. After decades in 
the jucicia! system, the Supreme Court 
in 1980 finally ruled that the U.S. gov- 
ernment illegally took the Black Hills in 
1876 and 1977. The court, however, did 
not return any portion of the iand. Rath- 
er, it added interest to the money the 
government "paid" for it. The money 
s'ts untouched in a bank account. The 
Sioux don't want it; they want the land 
and are now working to reclaim some 
of it through congressional legislation. 

"The government's desire for control 
of Indian land and resources has also 
resulted in a cycle of criminal prosecu- 


tion oi Indians that seems to occur eve- 
ry five to eight years," says Los Angeles 
attorney Jack L Schwartz. "Beyond the 1 
Black Hills case, such highly publicized 
incidents as Wounded Knee in 1 973, vio- 
lence in Black Mesa, Arizona, over ura- 
nium and coal mining, the Salmon 
Scam in Portland in which Indians 
were rounded up and arrested over fish- 
ing rights, and the Mohawk uprising in 
Montreal over a planned golf course on 
Indian land represent only a handful of 
the battles American Indians have 
waged over their land and resources — 
and those battles will continue," says 
Schwartz, who worked on the defense 
counsel of the Wounded Knee and Salm- 
on Scam cases. 

As well, despite the new Self-.je:er- 
mination policy and the First Amend- 
ment — the Supreme Court in two rulings 
in the mid Eighties all but quashed the 
American Indian Religious Freedom Act 
(AIRFA) by ruling that governments no 
longer had to show a "compelling in- 
terest" to interfere with Native American 
religious practices or sacred lands. In 
Northwest Indian Cemetery Protective 
Association vs. The Lyng, for example, 
the court granted the U.S. Forest Ser- 
vice the right to destroy an ancient sa- 
cred site located on public land. The is- 
sue of American Indian religious free- 
dom has attracted considerable public 
support, which, considering that it's one 
ot the principles America was founded 
upon, is not surprising. The Senate Se- 
lect Committee on Indian Affairs is ex- 
pected to introduce an AIRFA amend- 
ment to shore up those rights. 

Hundreds of cases that involve land 
claims, protection of sacred sites, and 
religious freedom currently are winding 
through the system, gene'sting huge pa- 
per trails. Moreover, the fundamental is- 
sue of governance will become a huge 
legal issue in the future, according to 
Sam Deloria, director of the American 
Indian Law Center in Albuquerque, 
"Just how much can tribes adapt tech- 
nologically to the world around them be- 
fore they risk their political base by hav- 
ing somebody say, 'Hey, you don't 
ride horses anymore, and you don't 
live in tepees. You work on computers— 
you're not Indian anymore.'" 

Technology will help Native Ameri- 
cans unite to confront the legal issues. 
The Iowa Chapter of the Native Ameri- 
can Law Student Association and the 
University of Iowa College of Law initi- 
ated the Iowa Indian Defense Network 
last year as a free BBS dedicated to the 
exchange of data on American Indian 
Law and Indian Affairs, For the first 
time, tribal attorneys involved in com- 
plex cases and Native American legal 
policy can begin to access, cross ref- 

erence, and transfer ideas, opinions, 
and briefs with others who handle sim- 
ilar cases, without leaving their offices 
and at a fraction of the expense such 
tasks would normally cost. 

In light of all the ills that have 
plagued their people, numerous tribal 
governments as well as urban Native 
American leaders are looking back to 
Iradilioral ways and realizing their rel- 
evance to contemporary society and 
the future of the planet. On Pine 
Ridge, for example, some seek to rein- 
state some of the old Lakota ways in- 
to the tribal government. "We are now 
preparing for a period of renaissance," 
says Elgin Bad Wound, president of 
Oglala Lakota College, where the revi- 
talization effort has begun. "The symp- 
toms — poverty, alcoholism, greed — 
are the same symptoms of the ills of larg- 
er Western society, But the symptoms 
are not the problem; the system is," 
adds OLC vice president Robert Grey 
Eagle. "We really have to come to 
grips with who we are as a people, how 
we're living, and where we're going," 

While every tribe has its own lan- 
guage and customs, certain values uni- 
fy all tribes, such as belief in the earth 
as a living spirit, the harmony of crea- 
tion and sharing, and the physical and 
spiritual inner balance of oneself. Amer- 
ican Indians and non-Indians alike are 
now viewing these values as critical to 
everyone's survival. "There used to be 
a saying in the 1800s: 'Forget the blan- 
ket and learn the White man's ways,'" 
says John Castillo, an Apache. "Now 
our elders are saying, 'Go and learn in 
the White man's world, but do not for- 
get your Indian ways.'" 

Some American Indians believe the 
renaissance of indigenous ways ex- 
tends beyond tribal country and to the 
earth as a whole. "There's an ecolog- 
ical bomb that's gone off on this plan- 
et, and we must dedicate ourselves to 
■"i vesti gating just how to balance econ- 
omy and environment," says Art Zimi- 
ga, of Oglala Lakota College. "We got 
an A in space, but here on Earth, the 
place we live, we're flunking. It's time 
to begin sharing everything we know 
and learn to turn this catastrophe 
around." Castillo sums it up: "Either we 
give respect to Mother Earth or give up 
the planet — it's a choiceless choice," 

Such blending of traditional world 
views and high tech may prove to be 
the best medicine for today's Native 
American ills. "It all comes down to 
communication," says AIT's Ross. The 
goal now is information empowerment. 
"We don't want to see Indians or tribal 
governments in the future becoming 
to an no peasants to the new information 
robber barons." DO 


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ate the remains of his victims? 
CLUES UNEARTHED: After the remains 
of the iive prospectors were exhumed 
in July 1989, they were taken to the Uni- 
versity of Arizona, where Walter Birkby 
is curator of physical anthropology. Ac- 
cording to Birkby, the remains were in 
good condition, the result of soil with es- 
pecially low levels of acid at the grave 
site. None of the bodies had been dis- 
membered, he noted, but all had hatch- 
et-like marks on the skull and had 
been defleshed. After the ske-e:ons 
were assembled, Lucien Haag was 
called in to identify the marks found on 
the bones. Haag used a microscope to 
study the tool patterns and then made 
silicone rubber casts to preserve the 
marks for additional study. 

According to investigators, the num- 
ber, type, and location of implement 
marks leave no mystery as to how the 
prospectors died and what happened 
to them after death. "These individuals 
were all murdered," said Birkby. "All oi 
them exhibited evidence of sharp im- 
plement marks on their bones, which is 
consistent with defleshing. One individ- 
ual, had 14 hatchet marks on his skull." 
Some of the marks are clearly defen- 
sive, indicating some of the victims had 
held up their arms to ward off the 
blows of an ax or hatchet. Others re- 
ceived blows on the head, indicating 
they may have been sleeping when at- 
tacked. Many of the bones also 
showed very fine knife marks, Haag 
adds, an indication that these victims 
had, like steak, been filleted. 

What about Packer's claim that Bell 
shot the- others, causing him to shoot 
Bell in self-defense? Not likely, say the 
ir vestige tors One individual probably 
committed all the murders, they ex- 
plained, because the injuries were con- 
sistent from one cranium to the next, 
What's more, the researchers found on- 
ly one bullet wound amongst all the vic- 
tims — and that individual had been 
shot years before his death. 
CONCLUSION: Packer's story did not 
hold up to scientific scrutiny, The jury 
that convicted him was right and his de- 
fenders were wrong. Alferd Packer was, 
indeed, "the Colorado Cannibal." 

On the Deckel: 

Thanks to modern technology, the skel- 
etal remains of historical figures have 
the potential to rewrite history by answer- 
ing questions unanswerable at the 
time of death. Several cases still under 
study could rattle the cages of histori- 
ans and law-enforcement officials: 

82 OMNI 

Lizzie Borden. After an Inept police 
investigation and a sensational murder 
trial in 1893, Lizzie Borden was found 
not guilty of hacking her father and 200- 
pound stepmother to death with an ax 
at their home in Fail River, Massachu- 
setts. Despite her acquittal, Lizzie re- 
mained guilty in the eyes of the popu- 
lar press and some historians. Enter fo- 
rensic investigator James Starrs, who is 
convinced Lizzie Borden may have 
been innocent. Starrs wants permission 
from Borden family members to exhume 
the skulls of Lizzie's parents. It Lizzie 
is innocent, it can be proven scientifi- 
cally, he says, "by comparing avai aole 
physical evidence, such as the famous 
'hoodoo hatchet,' with scientific analy- 
sis of the remains," 

Meriwether Lewis. Also on Starrs' 
list of unsolved mysteries is the death 
of Meriwether Lewis (of Lewis and 
Clark fame). Lewis died in 1809 at an 

iJames Starrs 
hopes to exhume the 

skulls of 
Lizzie Borden's parents 

to compare 

with physical evidence 

such as the 

famous hoodoo hatchet. 9 

inn on Ihe haicnoz I race soiitnwes; of 
Masnville, Tennessee. Governor of the 
Louisiana Territory at the time, he was 
on his way to Washington, DC, to meet 
with officials when he died of two gun- 
shot wounds, one to the side and the 
other to the head. The death has. long 
been labeled a suicide, but Starrs 
states that "the scientific evidence that 
he committed suicide is entirely defi- 
cient." Lewis may have been murdered, 
says S~arrs. With ihe permission of Lew- 
is's descendants, he hopes to exhume 
the remains and find out. 

John Wilkes Booth. Abraham Lincoln 
was assassinated in April 1865 by 
John Wilkes Booth, who 12 days later 
was gunned down by soldiers in a 
barn — right? Wrong, according to 
Hugh Ferryman, director of the Region- 
al Forensic Center in Memphis; Nathan- 
iel Orlowek, a religious educator at 
Beth Shalom Congregation in Potomac, 
Maryland.; and Arthur Chitty, historian at 
the University of the South. They be ;eve 
Booth may have escaped capture and 
lived another 38 years using the name 

John St. Helen before con-essmg 're- 
identity and committing suicide in Enid, 
Oklahoma. After his death, St. Helen's 
body was embalmed. But when the 
government showed no interest in inves- 
tigating the claims, the lawyer to whom 
St. Helen confessed stored the mum- 
my in his basement for 29 years. Even- 
tually, the mummified body was sold to 
a carnival and then slipped out of 
sight. If the mummy can be recovered, 
save Berywi. itwouc be possible, us- 
ing modern forensic technology, to 
make comparisons with known photo- 
graphs of Booth. Meanwhile, Orlowek 
is attempting to exhume the body 
thought to belong to Booth and deter- 
mine '.vnether it is truly his. 

Wild BUI Longley. On October 11, 
1878, a notorious Texas outlaw named 
Wild Bill Longley was convicted of mur- 
der and hanged under the watchful eye 
of the local sheriff. His body was then 
buried in a cemetery near Giddings. Or 
was it? Family legend has it that he es- 
caped the hangman's noose and re- 
located in Iberville Parish, Louisiana, 
where he adopted the sheriff's last 
name of Brown and lived a long ffe as 
3 -esoected member of the community. 
According to family legend, in :ac:. Long- 
ley made a deal with the sheriff to fake 
the hanging using a harness to break 
his fall. Before burial, he escaped 
while the coffin was weighted with 
stones. The sheriff was subseqte'i:ly 
killed in a gunfight with police in Chi- 
cago, and a man calling himself John 
Calhoun Brown began a new life, in 
Louisiana. He fathered ten children, ran 
a successful timber business, and 
died around 1923. 

These claims by the families of both 
the "original" Longley and the Brown de- 
scendants in Louisiana prompted Dr. 
Douglas Owsley, a forensic anthropol- 
ogist at the Smithsonian Institution, to 
organize an investigative team, The 
fi.'sl step was using a oomoufer to com- 
pare photographs of.the two men. "I 
was taken aback by the correspond- 
ence of the fit," he says. "They were 
very, very similar." Betting on the "prob- 
ability" that Longley and Brown were 
one and the same, Owsley worked 
with geologist Brooks F I wood of the. Uni- 
versity of Texas and Pat Mercado^llin- 
ger of the Texas Historical Commission 
to excavate 25 graves at the cemetery 
where the outlaw's coffin, filled with 
stones, was said to lie. The outlaw's 
marker had been moved at least twice 
in more than a century, so it's no sur- 
prise that none of the 25 coffins turned 
out to be his. But the team will do 
some more historical research and 
then return to the cemetery, hoping to 
find a coffin full of stones. OO 


as before. A:;er tha" he ^a is asleep. She 
rot only didn't get any real foreplay, but 
no afterplay either. She's wondering: 
Where's the romance in ail this? 

Well, at least she's a real woman 
now. She hasn't missed all of life. She 
may have missed a lot, but no one can 
say she's missed all, which is more 
than Cora can say about herself. Jan- 
ice thinks she is, and probably perma- 
nently—at least she hopes so — one up 
on Cora. She has joined the human 
race in a way Cora probably never will, 
poor thing. Janice will be kind. 

Janice hardly ever drives. She has al- 
ways left that to Cora. She knows how, 
but she's out of practice. Now she has 
several errands to do. She wants a 
nice pin-striped suit/though she won- 
ders if they come in boys' sizes — a suit 
like her father never would have worn. 
She wants a good suitcase. Not one 
from the five and ten. Shiny shoes big 
enough for rough claws, though she's 
cut those claws as short as she could, 
using old Jonesy's nail clippers. Since 
Mr. Jones looks sort of Mexican, she'll 
get him a south-of-the-border, Panama- 
type hat and dark glasses. 

It only takes a couple of days for Jan- 
ice to get her errands done and then a 
couple more to get the guest room 
ready: aired out, curtains washed, bed 
made. (Good it's a double bed.) She 
whistles all the time and doesn't even 
remember that it always bothers Cora. 
Cora watches the preparation of the 
guest room, but refuses to give Janice 
t.ie sstis'ac: or of asking her any ques- 
tions. It's easy to see that Janice won- 
' ders why Cora isn't asking. Once Jan- 
ice started to tell her something, but 
then turned red to her collar bone and 
shut up fast. 

Janice has continued making good 
suppers of Cora's favorite foods. Cora 
is still waiting for the practical joke to 
come lo its finale, but even — or espe- 
cially if it doesn't end, she knows some- 
thing's up. She hasn't let down her 
guard and she's snooped around- 
even in the basement, but not in the 
coal room. She didn't notice the pad- 
lock on the door. But in the attic she did 
find a large— very large piece of stiff 
leather, dried blood along its edges. So 
brittle she couldn't unfold it to see 
what it was. It gave her the shivers, 
Pained her to see it, though she 
couldn't say why. Perhaps it was the 
two toenails or claws that were attached 
to each corner. She'd thought of throw- 

ing the dead-looking thing out in the gar- Detroit. Better than Father's. Silver han- 

bage, but after she saw those claws died. He may be a cripple, but he'll 

that were part of it, she couldn't bring look like a gentleman. And the better he 

herself to touch it again. looks the more jealous Cora will be. 

Everything is ready, but Janice knows 
Jonesy needs a little more experience 
and training. She wants to pretend to 
go down and pick him up at the airport 
in Detroit. Cora, if she hears about it, 
will never let Janice go there by herself. 
But Cora mustn't be there. For lots of 
reasons, not the least of which that Jan- 
ice wants the trip to be like a honey- 
moon. They could sneak out in the mid- 
dle of the night and they could take two 
or three or even more days getting 
down there, and two or three or more 
days coming back. Maybe a couple of 
days enjoying Detroit. Jonesy could 
learn a lot. 

Janice has never dared to even 
think of going on a trip like this before, 
but with Jones she wouldn't be alone. 
She sees herself, dressed in her best, 
sitting across from him (he'll be wear- 
ing his pin-striped suit) in restaurants 
going to motels — movies, even. . . . 
She'd look right doing these thing; 
Like all the other couples. They'd hold 
hands in the movies. They'd stroll in the 
evenings after their long drive. Can he 
stroll? She'll get him a walking stick in 

And it started out to be a wonderful hon- 
eymoon. Janice kept the choke collar 
on under Jones's necktie and shirt, run- 
ning the chain down inside his left 
sleeve so that when she held his hand 
she could also hold the chain just to 
make sure. She also found a way to 
hold the back of his shirt so she could 
give a little pull on it, but she seldom 
had to use any of these techniques. 
And how could he try to escape, hob- 
bling as he does? Unless he learns to 
drive the pickup? But Janice wouldn't 
be a bit surprised if he could learn to 
drive it. Even before they get to Detroit, 
Jonesy is dressing himself, uses the 
right fork in fancy restaurants, can eat 
a lobster just as neatly as anyone can. 
Janice keeps a running corve r saiior 
going, just as if they were communicat- 
ing. She keeps saying, "Don't you 
think so, dear?" hoping nobody will no- 
tice that he doesn't nod. Except she's 
sure that lots of husbands are like that. 
Even Father often didn't answer Moth- 
er, lost in his own thoughts all the time. 
But Mr. Jones doesn't look lost in his 
thoughts. And he doesn't look as if he 




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reels hope ess anymore. He looks out 
at everything with such intelligence 
that Janice is considering calling him 
Doctor Jones. 

In Detroit it'iey s'e stayr.g ai the Ren- 
aissance Center) Janice gets the good 
idea that they should get married right 
there at City Hall. Before she even tries 
to do it, she calls up Cora. "I got mar- 
ried," she says, even though it hasn't 
happened yet, but, anyway, whether it 
does or not, Cora will never know the 
difference. "And isn't it funny, I'm Mrs.. 
Jones, and I call him Jones, just like Old 

Cora can't answer. She just sputters. 
She's been lonelier without Janice 
there than she ever thought she would 
be. She had even wished the little light 
was still flickering in the orchard. She'd 
gone out there, hoping to find anohe' 
nest. Partly she'd been just looking for 
company. She'd even left the doors un- 
locked, her window open, But then 
she'd put two and two together. She's 
had all these days to wonder and wor- 
ry and wait, and she's been down in the 
basement where the coal-room door 
had been. carelessly left open. She's 
seen the pallet on the floor, the bowl of 
dusty water, the remains of a last meal 
(Moiner's china, wine glasses,) three 
pairs of Janice's underpants, badly 
soiled. And she remembered that 
piece of folded leather with the dried 
blood all over it that she'd found in the 
attic and she'd gotten the shivers all 
over again. Cora knows she's been out- 
-anejvered by Janice, which she nev- 
er thought could ever come about, but 
she suddenly realizes that she doesn't 
care about that anymore. 

She sputters into the phone and 
then, for the first time — at least that Jan- 
ice ever-knew about — Cora bursts into 
tears. Janice can teil even though Co- 
ra is tryi'ng to hide it. All of a sudden 
Jamce wan La :c say something that will 
make Cora happy, but she doesn't 
know what. "You'll like him," she says. 
"I know you will. You'll love him, and 
he'll love you, too. I know him well 
enough to know he will. He will." 

Cora keeps on trying to hide lhat 
she's crying, but she doesn't hang up. 
She's glad, at last, to be connected to 
Janice however tenuously. 

'Til bring you something nice from De- 
troit," Janice says. 

Cora still doesn't say anything, 
though Janice can hear her ragged 

"I'll be back real soon." JaniGe, al- 
so, doesn't want to break the connec- 
tion, but she can't think of anything 
else to say. 'Til see you in two days." 

It tafeSS four. Janice comes home alone 

84 OMNI 

by tax . after a se -iss ol buses. (The pick- 
up is going to be found two weeks lat- 
er up in Canada, north of Thunder Ray 
Men's c:othes will be found in it, includ- 
ing Panama hat, dark glasses, and sil- 
ver-handled cane. The radio will have 
been stolen. There will be maps, and a 
b g dictionary that had never belonged 
either to Cora or Janice.) 

As Janice staggers up the porch 
steps, Cora rushes down, her arms 
held out, but Janice flinches away. Jan- 
ice is wearing a wedding ring and a 
large, phony diamond en g age rr-e nt 
ring, She has on a new dress. Even 
though it's wrinkled and is stained with 
sweat across the back, Cora can see 
it was expensive. Janice's hair is com- 
ing loose from its psyche knot and now 
she's the one who's crying and trying 
to pretend she's not. 

Cora tries to help Janice up the 
steps. Even though Janice stumbles, 


remembered that piece of 

folded leather 

with the dried blood all 

over it that 

she'd found in the attic 

and she'd 

gotten the shivers again. 9 

she won't let her, but she does let Co- 
ra push her on into the living room. Jan- 
ice co apses onto the couch, tells Co- 
ra, "Don't hover." Hovering .s somethrg 
Cora never did before. It's more like 
something Janice would do. 

Even after Cora brings Janice a 
strong cup of coffee, Janice won't say 
a single word about anything. Cora 
says she'll feel better if she talks about 
it, but she won't. She looks tired and sul- 
len. "You'd like to know everything, 
wouldn't you just," she says, (What oth- 
er way to stay one up than not to 
tell? . . . than to have secrets?) 

Cora almos! says, "Not really," but 
sft@ doesn't want to be, anymore, what 
she used to be. Janice hasn't had the 
experience of being in the house all 
alone for several days. There's a differ- 
ent secret now that Janice doesn't 
know about yet. Maybe never will un- 
less Cora gees off someplace. But why 
would she go anyplace? And where 7 Be- 
sides, being one up or being even 
doesn't matter to Cora anymore. She 
coesn'; care if Janice understands or 

not. She just wants to take care of her 
and have her stay. Maybe, after a 
while, Janice will come to see that 
things have changed. 

Cora goes to the kitchen to make a 
salad that she thinks Janice will like. 
She sets the dining room table the way 
she thinks Janice would approve of, 
with Mother's best dishes, and with the 
knives and forks in all the right places, 
and both water glasses and wine glass- 
es, but Janice says she'll eat later in the 
kitchen and alone and on paper 
plates. Meanwhile she'll take a bath. 

After Cora eats and is cleaning up 
the last of her dishes, Janice comes in, 
wearing her nightgown and Mother's 
bathrobe. As she leans to get a pan 
from a lower shelf, the bathrobe falls 
away. When she straightens up again, 
snH sees Cora starng a: her. "Whist ^re 
you oglingl" she says, holding the fry- 
ing pan like a weapon, 

"Nothing," Cora says, knowing bet- 
ter than to make a comment. She's 
seen more than she wants to see. 
There are big red choke collar marks 
all around Janice's neck. 

But something must be done or 
said. Cora wonders what Father would 
have done? She usually knows exactly 
what he'd do and does it without even 
thinking about it, Now she can't imag- 
ine r alher ever having to deal with some- 
thing like this. She can't say anything. 
She can't move, finally she thinks. No 
secrets. She says, "Sister." And 
then , . . but it's too hard. (Father nev- 
er would have said it.) She starts. She 
almost says it. "Sister, I love. . . ." 

At first it looks as if Janice will hit her 
With the frying pan, but then she drops 
it and just stares. DO 


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matic pilot light, that will bG a very 
strong contender," Miller says. A pilot- 
less gas water heater — a version of a 
French instantaneous water heater — 
has been approved by the American 
Gas Association and is ex.oectsd to oe 
available in late 1993, For a 67-gallon 
daily hot-water draw, the heater, man- 
ufactured by Controlled Energy in Ver- 
mont who already makes a high-effi- 
ciency tankless gas water heater, 
should cut annual water-heating costs 
32 percent compared to a traditional stor- 
age gas water heater. 

One of the most highly awaited effi- 
cient products is the Golden Carrot re- 
frigerator, so named because a 25- 
utility consortium, known as the Super- 
Efficient Refrigerator Program (SERP), 
is dangling a S30-million carrot in front 
o1 manufacturers to create the next gen- 
eration of refrigerators. Frigidai'e and 
Whirlpool are panting for the finish line 
in the chlorofluorocarbon-free superef- 
ficient refrigerator race. 

A typical 15-year-old refrigerator de- 
vours about 1 ,700 kilowatt-hours of elec- 
tricity a year. Frigidaire and Whirlpool 
will jnvei prototypes expected to fea- 
ture a fivefold increase in insulation ef- 
ficiency and better compressors, gas- 
kets, and control systems. The Golden 
Carrot refrigerator may use only 350 to 
525 kilowatt-hours each year and 
could save consumers $500 over the 
refrigerator's lifetime. 

When can you wheel out the old mod- 
el on the dolly? SERP will pick the final 
superefficient refrigerator manufacturer 
in July, and the Golden Carrot refriger- 
ator could hit the market next year. 
"This is the start of what we're hoping 
is a new era in the utility industry, work- 
ing to move markets en masse," says 
conservation analyst Jeff Harris of the 
NonnwesT Power Planning Council in 
Portland. Since 1983, the Council has 
ramped up energy efficiency in the 
Northwest through new standards for 
commercial and residential construction 
and other programs. 

But even il u:ili'.ics and appliance man- 
ufacturers begin to sway in unison to a 
greener beat, savvy consumers may 
not join the dance. "We're not very risky 
consumers. Efficiency by itself is not a 
reason to take that risk on a new prod- 
uct," says the Power Council's Harris. 
"If you can say, 'This is a more efficient 
appliance, and by the way, it offers 
through-the-door water and ice service 
and it costs you less money to run,' the 
consumer then says, 'I'd really like to 
have all those features, and gosh, it's 

88 OMNI 

ellicicni, too; I'll buy it!'" 

Efficient products also had better be 
g ixh free, cat, '.ions NRDC's Miller. Con- 
sumers still remember inadequate 
wind turbines and other energy-conser- 
vation debacles of the pasl. "Americans 
aren't terribly patient with technological 
glitches," Miller says. "We're concerned 
about the reaction if some of the energy- , 
efficient products come out with glitch- 
es. Companies must make sure (heir 
products work well." 

This aversion to flawed merchandise 
is why, as semiconductors and sushi 
continue to stream past U.S. shores, 
many of Japan's green gadgets likely 
will never see the light of suburbia. 
Case in point; supercomputerized mul- 
ticompartment refrigerators. All the lead- 
ing Japanese appliance manufacturers 
produce such smart refrigerators thai 
pander to Japan's love affair with high 
tech. Each section of the refrigerator 
has a different temperature and humid- 
ity level, so homeowners can adjust the 
temperature to keep their fish, tofu, veg- 
etables, and beer at separate, op: ma 
temperatures. Nice concept, if only the 
microenvironments always worked and 
the beer remained cold. 

Nor will consumers pine for products 
that require lifestyle sacrifices, Miller 
adds. That's why another typical Jap- 
anese fixture — bathtub covers that 
keep the tub water toasty for subse- 
quent bathers — likely won't be trendy 
numbers here. "I don't think Amei cans 
are particularly frugal, but that's differ- 
ent from a willingness to innovate and 
try different products and new technolo- 
gies." Mi iCt says "People love hearing 
aboul new exciting technology and 
advances, but not if it means covering 
your bathtub or turning down the temper- 
ature and wearing a thermal Afghan." 

So gear up for superefficient person- 
al computers, fuzzy-logic clothes wash- 
ers, and heat-pump clothes dryers. At 
the same time new federal appliance 
standards push manufacturers to cre- 
ate efficient machines, utilities will 
stoke the ecotechnology revolution 
with new Golden Carrot programs. 

And, like their Japanese counter- 
parts, American manufacturers are 
bent on winning the ecotechnology 
race. "American'manufacturers aren't 
sitting around," says ACEEE's Morrill. 
"There's lots of exciting stuff going on. 
This type of civilian technology provides 
a venue for a sort of renaissance in Amer- 
ican manufacturing." Time to s;de ! he 
that harvest-gold relic for a fridge with 
a hot new ultrasonic, fuzzy-logic, high- 
speed-spin, solar-powered, ozonsled 
number? You can think about it while 
you pop an insulating cozy on your hot- 
water heater. DO 


poliiivG egomania. "What I do is hum- 
bling. Discovering things first, being ac- 
claimed for it, nurturing one's ego— 
these seem trivial when confronted 
with people in a desperate y trag c situa- 
tion you are impotent to help. Almost any- 
one who confronts the kind of human 
violence I do on a daily basis would be 
able to keep his priorities in order. 
Those priorities do not involve extrane- 
ous positions, only fighting "lie crease 
as enemy." 

Dr. Rosenberg, you make it sound 
like war. "Is there any doubt?" he whis- 
pers. "It is."— Douglas Stein 

Omni: Just how big a problem is can- 
cer in America? [phone rings] 
Rosenberg: I have patients I care for so 
I have to answer that, [on phone] "Hi, 
Alice . . . Yes, I will . . , I'll do it . . . I'll 
get it . . . Yah, make a decision. Bye." 
[end conversation] Sorry; I can never af- 
ford to ignore a call from a patient — or 
my wife. Okay, someone dies of can- 
cer in the United States every minute. 
How many minutes in a year? Okay, [us- 
ing a calculator] that's 525,000 minutes. 
Pretty close, because in 1991, of the 1.1 
million people who contract cancer 
each year, 515,000 died. Each month, 
almost 50,000 people are about to die, 
so at any time, millions of people are 
desperate for something. One out of eve- 
ry four people now alive in the United 
States will develop an invasive cancer. 
One out of six will die. The magnitude 
of the problem is staggering. 
Omni: When you were just five or six, 
you already had a clear vision of what 
your life had to become. How is that? 
Rosenberg: From the time I stopped 
wanting to be a cowboy, I wanted to be 
a doctor and do research. I did well in 
school without working, and people 
were always crowing about how high 
my IQ was. I wanted to find things that 
no one else knew. I always had this de- 
sire—no, an obsession—with doing 
something thai wou.d alleviate suffering. 
Omni: Where does that come from 
when you're a small child? 
Rosenberg: World War II had just end- 
ed, and when I was between five and 
c ghl years old, the horrors of the Holo- 
caust became apparent. My parents' 
families were caught in it, most dying 
in concentration camps, so it was some- 
thjng I heard about. These were not 
just vague stories of people dying, but 
horribly graphic tales of fathers being 
taken out of houses in the night and 
found shot in the woods. My father's fa- 
ther and brother died before my father's 

eyes when their house was bombed. 
His mother died in his arms at the side 
of a road when she was refused en- 
trance to a hospital because she was 
Jewish. Ours was a lower-middle-class 
family, and my childhood in the Bronx 
was safe. But at a very impressionable 
age, I heard many stories of horrors 1 
didn't personally encounter. 
Omni: Did you feel some guilt, perhaps, 
about being "spared"? 
Rosenberg: I sense in myself not guilt, 
but sadness that people are responsi- 
ble, for such a substantial amount of mis- 
ery others have to bear. Each person 
can play a part in preventing that from 
happening by doing good. But parts of 
life, like cancer, over which we have no 
control, wreak great unhappiness. And 
I wanted to tackle one of these major 
problems. When I was late just now it 
was because I had to tell a 19-year-old 
boy and his mother that his treatment 
has failed: The cancer in his liver is grow- 
ing. He and his family are innocent, yet 
they are in the midst of this terrible trag- 
edy. If you're going to solve problems 
of human tragedy, you have to engage 
them. They become your enemy! 
Omni: What is the most difficult pari? 
Rosenberg: To somehow leave all this. 
When my patients are suffering ex- 
tremes of pain and distress and are 
counting on me and my team as their 
last hope, how do I justify leaving the 
hospital to go home and play catch 
with my daughter? Yes, there is guilt in 
taking time to do almost anything other 
than what I do here. Every day I con- 
front the inadequacies and failures of 
today's cancer treatments. So I'm here 
to develop treatments that can be avail- 
able tomorrow. You ask about guilt — 
well, we all deal with guilt when we de- 
cide what to do with our lives. 
Omni: Why was immunotherapy such 
a bold strategy to pursue in 1974? 
Rosenberg: There wasn't a single exam- 
ple of immunotherapy working. Virtual- 
ly no information even suggested that 
an immune response to cancer in the 
human existed, despite the fact that 
over the years, thousands of patients 
had undergone various immunotherapy 
regimens. Cancer, by definition, begins 
to grow and then keeps growing. Either 
there is no immune response against 
these cells, or the response is insuffi- 
cient. And then, we had no ways to 
measure immune reactions to tumors in 
people. But I'd seen two patients who'd 
impressed me, There was Mr. D'ange- 
lo, who apparently cured hirnsell Qj wide- 
ly metastasized stomach cancer 
through possibly a violent immune re- 
action brought on by streptococcus bac- 
teria 11 years before I saw him. A sec- 
ond patieni received a transplanted kid- 

ney containing cancer that spread 
through his body. When immunosuppres- 
sive drugs were stopped, his body re- 
jected the cancer, and it disappeared. 
Thousands of siudies described 
what had been tried in animals. There 
was an overwhelming amount of infor- 
mation about things that not only had 
not worked, but worse, things people 
claimed worked but had not been prov- 
en to work. Nobody had taken an ani- 
mal that already had a growing tumor 
and made it disappear by immunologic 
manipulation. And that's what we need- 
ed. I concluded the part of the immune 
system responsible for rejecting foreign 
tissue in organs revolved around spe- 
cific T lymphocyte reactivities, We be- 
gan by trying to immunize animals 
against their own tumors and then use 
their own T cells. We put a lot of effort 
into it, but it didn't work. 
Omni: In 1976, when interleukin 2 [IL- 

4She stopped 
breathing and was within 

minutes of 
dying. We resuscitated her. 

We pushed 
her to the brink. But she got 

better and 
went home in about a week. 9 

2] came along, you didn't see its poten- 
tial. When did you "see the light"? ' 
Rosenberg: Many molecules produced 
by lymphocytes generate immune ef- 
fects. IL-2 was not the first "cytokine" 
to be described, but it was unique in 
that it enabled immunologists to rapid- 
ly grow lymphocytes into large enough 
numbers to study in experiments. Only 
when our experiments suggested that 
T cells expanded with IL-2 would retain 
all their immunologic powers did the 
path to this approach become evident. 
The basic hypothesis was that one 
could remove T cells from a patient, 
greatly expand their numbers in culture 
white ""aintaining their anticancer activ- 
ity, and return them to patients. But 
would T cells growing in IL-2 maintain 
their immunologic activity against for- 
eign tissue? If they lost it as they start- 
ed to multiply, forget it; look for a new 
approach. But we found they main- 
tained their reactivity in a test tube. So 
would these cultured cells still maintain 
it when injected back into a live animal 9 
When the answer to that was yes, I 

knew the approach was valid; the 
tools were up to the challenge. 
Omni: Most scientists doing this oxrieer- 
ing work would have stuck to the lab, 
but the moment you got anything the 
least bit promising, you immediately 
took it to patients. Why did you put your- 
self though such a "decade of death"? 
Rosenberg: I love understanding how 
things work in the lab, seeking truth for 
its own sake. But that's not what I do. 
So as soon as we had even a tiny open- 
ing in that window, I wanted to bring it 
to patients. If I didn't think each new 
treatment had some chance, I 
wouldn't have done it. There was no 
way I'd subject these people to a treat- 
ment I thought could not help them. 
There was always a reason to believe 
it might work and a crushing disappoint- 
ment when it didn't. When everything 
we'd tried through 1984 failed, a gnaw- 
ing fear that it would never work in peo- 
ple began to grow in me. Mysterious 
differences between mice and people 
couid prove insurmountable. As patient 
after patient — every one a separate hu- 
man drama — died, it was difficult to sus- 
tain the determination to keep pushing 
on, At any stage, one could say in ret- 
rospect, "Hey, I could've stopped 
here." But I wouldn't have stopped. 
Omni: Of your early successes, was 
Linda Granger the most dramatic? 
Rosenberg; She was the firstl We'd treat- 
ed 76 patients fn a row over ten years 
who'd failed all other treatments. We 
had raised their hopes with experimen- 
tal treatments only to dash them when 
these, too, failed. All had died. We'd 
treated some with LAK cells alone, oth- 
ers with IL-2 alone. But immune cells 
grown outside the body were depend- 
ent on IL-2 for survival, and they died 
quickly after we returned them to peo- 
ple unless we also gave IL-2. Our ani- 
mal models told us we needed both. 
But NIH (National Institutes of Health) 
review groups, the FDA, and other agen- 
cies demanded we prove each could 
be given safely before we combined 
them. These agencies severely limited 
the quantities of LAK cells and IL-2 we 
could give our patients. We failed time 
and again, Only after we'd shown we 
could give each safely were we allowed 
to combine them. 

Linda Granger was 29, with melano- 
ma throughout her body. She'd re- 
ceived multiple surgical excisions of her 
cancer, but it kept coming back. She 
failed all traditional treatments, plus ex- 
perimental regimens involving interfer- 
on. Her doctors finally told her nothing 
more could be done, suggested she 
take a vacation, go to Europe, and try 
to enjoy the six or so months she had 
left. But one doctor who knew of our 

work in animals said, "Why don't you 
talk to Steve Rosenberg?" 

When I explained what we were do- 
ing and that we'd never had a success- 
ful treatment, she understood and 
agreed to it. We brought her into the hos- 
pital, gave her LAK cells and IL-2 — 
large amounts — and we kept going. I 
was prepared to be extremely vigorous! 
She got into trouble, and we bailed her 
out, kept pushing. The treatment last- 
ed about 18 days until we gave her one 
dose too many of IL-2. She stopped 
breathing and was within minutes of dy- 
ing. We resuscitated her. We pushed 
her to the brink, but she got better and 
went home in a week, When she left the 
hospital, none of her tumors had 
changed. When she came back for the 
first follow-up, they still hadn't 
Changed, But a month later, we saw 
that all her tumors had died or shrunk 
dramatically. Linda Granger has never 
had a tumor grow back. Today, nine 
years later, she is disease free and ex- 
ecutive officer of one of the world's larg- 
est naval bases. 

Omni: After your success with LAK cells, 
how did you improve immunotherapy? 
Rosenberg: We weren't looking for the 
LAK cell, and it diverted our attention 
from the kind of immune cell we'd 
sought. At the beginning, one of my hy- 
potheses was that we'd find the cells 1 
we wanted inside the tumor itself, If the 
body is battling cancer, the logical 
place to look for those cells is at the bat- 
tle site. In 1985, we finally managed to 
isolate the killer: The TIL — tumor- infiltrat- 
ing lymphocytes—have the ability to tar- 
get a single antigen on the surface of 
a cancer cell. TIL can also track the can- 
cer cell throughout the body by means 
of that antigenic marker. 
Omni: Why are TIL 100 times more 
powerful than LAK cells 7 
Rosenberg: The most striking feature of 
the immune system is its ability to rec- 
ognize tiny variations in cell-surface mol- 
ecules: antigens. It's that exquisite spec- 
ificity we sought to exploit, because the 
difference between the surface antigen 
of a cancer and a normal cell is tiny. 
The immune cell can only recognize the 
foreign antigen when it is attached to 
part of the normal antigen molecules of 
that person. This "MHC restriction," as 
it's called, lends enormous specificity 
to the immune system. 

In rejecting a cancer, we're reacting 
against a small part of a protein mole- 
cule attached to our normal antigens. 
This response also protects us against 
viruses and many other foreign invad- 
ers. LAK cells don't detect that single 
antigenic difference, but rather seem to 
recognize substances on cancer, viral- 
ly infected cells, and normal cells in cul- 

ture. LAK cells may be part of a primi- 
tive immunosurveillance mechanism we 
still have aga nst trans-oirned or dam- 
aged cells. They're broadly reactive 
and relatively weak. TIL, on the other 
hand, recognize a single antigen 
through surface receptors that bind to 
them and keep the TIL anchored 
there. Then-a TIL kills directLy by destroy- 
ing the cancer cell's membrane or se- 
cretes hormones, including IL-2, that at- 
tract other immune cells to the site to 
do battle. Secreting these hormones is 
more important in mobilizing the im- 
mune response than the killing activity 
per se, The hormones we've measured 
so far are gamma interferon, tumor ne- 
crosis Victor TNFj. and g-anuiocyte mac- 
rophage colony stimulating factor. Un- 
doubtedly, there are many others. 
Omni: Why did you increasingly focus 
your therapy on two cancers? 
Rosenberg: When we began, we took 
on all comers. Of our original success, 
the first two with melanoma responded, 
as did the first three with kidney can- 
cer. Because we now had a crack in 
that stone face to wedge open, we 
used these two as model systems to im- 
prove the treatment. IL-2 and LAK cell 
treatment in some patients with ad- 
vanced melanoma and kidney cancer 
caused regressions, and about 10 per- 
cent of the time complete elimination of 
the cancer. Half of those with complete 
regression haven't had tumors return in 
the length of the follow-up, now over sev- 
en years. Then we found TIL, and our 
response rate in melanoma doubled to 
about 40 percent. Still, the treatment 
left many patients without response, 
and some responses are temporary. 
We need to improve the treatment and 
decrease its side effects. 

After we saw antitumor responses in 
people given TIL, we began trying to an- 
swer questions about them. One was 
where TIL went after we injected them 
By labeling TIL with indium-111, a ra- 
dioactive isotope, we learned that they 
seemed to traffic to and accumulate in 
the tumor. That opened an exciting pos- 
sibility, and by 1989, we could geneti- 
cally change TIL into vehicles for pro- 
ducing molecules to destroy the can- 
cer at the tumor site. We collaboratea 
with other NIH scientists to insert a 
gene into ten patients with life expec- 
tancies of 90 days or less. The first 
gene was simply a marker to help us 
identify TIL distribution and survival in 
the body. They survived in one patient 
over six months, and we found them in 
tumor deposits out to 64 days. 

One of the first five was a 26-year- 
old Florida woman with a young child. 
She had 24 separate deposits of mela- 
noma throughout her body — under her 

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skin, in both tonsils, both lungs, and a 
very largo tumor on the soft palate in- 
terfering with her swallowing. If we 
didn't radiate this lesion, it could ob- 
struct her airway. But I didn't want to, 
since radiation can suppress the im- 
mune response. We grew her TIL in IL- 
2, inserted our so-called "NEO" gene, 
and gave her back those TIL plus IL-2, 
She underwent a regression of all her 
subcutaneous tumors, all tumors inside 
her mouth, all her lung disease. Over 
three years later, she is disease free. It 
obviously wasn't the marker gene that 
was responsible — that just shows how 
effective TIL therapy can be for patients 
with advanced cancer, I just wish it 
would happen more often. 
Omni: Might gene therapy help us to 
understand cancer? 
Rosenberg; Who is the enemy? In a 
way, cancer is a perversion of the life 
process. There's a famous femur of a 
giant cave bear with a typical osteosar- 
coma that's 1.75 million years old. Di- 
nosaur skeletons show evidence of tu- 
mors. It's been around almost as long 
as life. Cancer is characterized by two 
properties that differentiate it from vir- 
tually all other cells: One, it exhibits un- 
controlled growth. The second proper- 
ty, the one that makes it lethal in most 
cases, is It's the only cell that can de- 

tach from its site of origin, travel else- 
where, then grow at that site. 

Oncogenes are in part responsible 
for causing cancer. But we don't yet 
understand how they change the cell's 
biochemistry, so we can't now design 
ways to interfere with these changes. 
We do know that when the cell be- 
comes malignant, it changes its sur- 
face. The immune system is so exqui- 
sitely sensitive as to recognize a single 
amino acid change among the hun- 
dreds that make up any protein in the 
cell's surface, so now we have a device 
for potentially recognizing and elim- 
inating that abnormal, different cell, 
This is the basis for immunotherapy and 
why we can effectively use it even 
thcuon we understand very little about 
the biochemistry and molecular nature 
of the cancer process, 
Omni: What strategies do tumors de- 
ploy to escape recognition? 
Rosenberg: They have quite a reper- 
toire. Some cancer cells may not have 
any surface antigens. Or their antigens 
are somehow masked, covered by oth- 
er molecules that prevent their recogni- 
tion — "cryptic antigens" we call them. 
Every cancer cell may have different or 
multiple antigens, and it can stop form- 
ing one and express others. It may se- 
crete molecules that activale the im- 

mune system's suppressor cells, thus 
turning it off. The cancer cell seems to 
have evolved genetic mechanisms for 
overcoming immune responses. That 
may be the best argument for using ge- 
netic approaches to combat it. If we 
can harness the entire genome of the 
planet to develop new treatments, may- 
be we can overcome this "genetic 
edge" the cancer cell has evolved. 
Omni: What are your plans for immuno- 
therapy and gene therapy? 
Rosenberg: After we successfully insert- 
ed the marker gene, we got permission 
to insert the gene for TNF, tumor necro- 
sis factor, a molecule that interferes 
with tumor blood supply. In the mouse. 
a single injection will cause large tu- 
mors to disappear within days. But TNF 
has no impact in people, because we 
cannot tolerate enough of it. Mice tol- 
erate 40 times more. Putting the TNF 
gene into TIL meets the problem of 
metastatic cancer head on — where you 
don't know just where these cancer 
cells are, and there are too many plac- 
es where they are. TIL patrol the entire 
body, and wherever tumor cells are, TIL 
should accumulate and act. So the tu- 
mor site alone achieves high enough 
concentration of TNF to react against 
the cancer cells without exposing the 
entire body to TNF. These gene-en- 


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hanced cells home in on the tumor and 
deliver the TNF warhead to destroy it. 
Currently, we are working to geneti- 
cally alter the tumor so that we can im- 
munize patients against their own tu- 
mor. Thus far, we have nine patients in 
the TIL-TNF study and five in the autoim- 
munization protocol. We're also trying 
to genetically insert into TIL the recep- 
tor for IL-2, The TIL would then be sen- 
sitive to much lower concentrations of 
IL-2, enabling them to survive and 
grow in the body with fewer IL-2-relat- 
ed side effects. We've shown that TIL 
can detect unique antigens on some 
breast and colon cancers and non- 
Hodgkin's lymphoma. We've begun to 
use gene-modified TIL to treat a very 
small number of women with breast can- 
cer — a high priority. These therapies 
are so complex that while we have 10 
to 20 people referred to us a day. we 
might hope to apply gene therapy to 50 
within the next two years. 
Omni: Can evaluating the status of the 
immune system early in life tell us what 
may befall a person later on? 
Rosenberg: That question assumes 
that an immune defect leads to the de- 
velopment of cancer. That isn't neces- 
sarily true. Perhaps cancers develop 
without any relationship to immune func- 
tion. When it comes to overall measure- 

ments oi [he immune system, there's no 
difference in performance between the 
normal person and the person with can- 
cer. People who are totally irnmunosup- 
pressed with drugs or born without an 
immune system have a slightly higher 
incidence of lymphomas. But they don't 
have a higher incidence of the common 
cancers — colon, breast, and lung. Can- 
cer could be caused by agents having 
nothing to do with the immune system, 
and then, secondarily, immune reactiv- 
ity against it is somehow subverted. 
Omni: How has the controversy sur- 
rounding gene therapy affected you? 
Rosenberg: One evening I got home, 
and there on the evening news the 
announcer was saying that scientists al 
NIH had received permission to intro- 
duce genes into people for the first 
time. Then, flashing upon the screen, 
was a picture of Adolf Hitler giving a 
speech to roaring throngs in front of the 
Reichstag. The commentator now says 
it was the Nazis who first tried to cre- 
ate the master race by influencing 
genes. Then off goes the picture of 
Hitler, and on comes my picture! The 
commentator says NIH scientists are try- 
ing to influence genes, Can you imag- 
ine how I felt seeing that sequence? I 
was glad my parents had moved to Is- 
rael so they weren't exposed to it. 

Confusion and hysteria surround 
gene manipulation. The genes we intro- 
duce into cells cannot be transmitted 
to offspring. But we're not anywhere 
near smart enough to predict the im- 
pact of those genes on human func- 
tions other than the ones we're trying 
to influence. To introduce genes that 
can get into the germ line and be trans- 
mitted is an incredibly perilous under- 
taking, one that must be done with ulti- 
mate care. I'd be horrified if anyone 
tried to use gene manipulation to intro- 
duce frivolous human characteristics. 
But that's very different from using this 
powerful tool to try to improve medi- 
cine's ability to treat innocent people suf- 
fering from this terrible disease. 
Omni: Why do you live the way you do? 
Rosenberg: In the 19 years I've been at 
NIH, there may have been ten days I've 
been in town and not come to work. I 
do what I love to do: my work and my 
life with my family. Everything I do is tar- 
geted toward how I can use this infor- 
mation, I also love astronomy and find 
it peaceful to look through my lovely tele- 
scope, just observing and thinking 
about the universe, because there is no 
way I can use that information to do 
something, no way I can impact on 
that galaxy whatsoever. For once, I am 
not obligated to intervene. OQ 


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A problem with no solution and an infallible card trick 

By Scot Morris 




















In the April 1993 issue, I 
presented an intriguing 
solitaire game that used a 
square grid and a bunch 
of counters. To start, you 
place a counter on the 
bottom left square. Each 
move there after consists of 
removing a counter and 
laying two new ones: one on 
the square immediately 
above and another on the 
square immediately to the 
right. Only one counter can 
occupy a square at a time. 

The first move vacates 
the corner square and fills 
the first two diagonal 
squares. Three more moves 
empty the three corner 
squares and fill five squares 
(above, right). How many 
moves will it take to empty 
the lower left six squares? 

Surprisingly, the answer 
is infinite. It can't be done! 
The counters always move 

96 OMNI 

to the right and up, so you 
think that eventually the 
corner squares will be 
empty, but your intuition 
proves wrong. That's why I 
called this the Counter- 
Intuitive Puzzle — and of- 
fered $5,000 of my own 
money (not Omni's) to 
anyone who solved it in a 
finite number of moves. 

I knew beforehand that 
this puzzle had no finite 
solution because I had seen 
an elegant proof discovered 
by N, Konstantinov of 
Moscow. He weighted each 
square of the grid. Vacating 
a square splits its weight 
between the two cells above 
and to the right. No matter 
how many counters are 
added to the board, the 
weight of covered squares 
always equals 1. 

The- entire board weighs 
4. If allowed to progress to 

The difficult port of 
this puzzle is 
frying to empty the 
lower left six 
squares (above). The 
proof devised 
by N. Konstantinov 
calls for weight- 
ing each square of 
the grid (left). 

infinity, column A totals 2, 
column B totals 1, column C 
totals 14 column D totals Va, 
column E totals Vs, and so 
on. The puzzle requires that 
you leave the six corner 
squares empty — a total 
weight of 2%. But consider 
that other squares must be 
left empty, too, because the 
up-and-to-the-right move- 
ment of the game ensures 
that there will never be more 
than one counter on the 
bottom row or the -far left 
column of the board. The 
best choice is to leave 
counters on squares A4 and 
D1 , for a filled weight of 
Vs + Vs = <A 

Now the six empty corner 
squares (234) plus the 
empty edge squares 
[Va + Vs = Vt) have a total 
weight of 3. The entire board 
weighs 4, so before the 
required six squares can be 

vacated, every square on 
the infinite board must have 
a counter on it. Thus, the 
puzzle has no finite solution. 

In fact, the game rules are 
stricter than they need to be. 
You can even allow 
counters to pile up on a 
square, so long as they're all 
on different squares by the 
end. It's still impossible. 

Now try this new card trick 
invented by Los Angeles 

gician Jim Steinmeyer. 
Put any nine playing cards 
in a stack, face down, 
and look at the third card. 
Now spell the name of that 
card, dealing a card face 
down into a stack on the 
table for each letter. For 
example, if the third card is 
the ten of spades, deal the 
top card to the table and 
say "T" Put the second 
card on top of that and say 
"E," and then put the third 
card on top of that and 
say "N." Then, reform the 
deck by placing the re- 
maining cards in your hand 
on top of the stack on the 
table and picking all nine 
cards up again. Spell the 
second word, "OF," the 
same way, and reform the 
pack. Then spell the final 
word, "SPADES," and again 
reform the pack. 

Finally, spell the name 
of your favorite science 
magazine, using this meth- 
od, and reform the pack. 
Then look at the top card. If 
you have followed the 
directions — and have good 
taste in magazines — it's the 
same card you spelled. 
Amazingly, this trick works 
with any card, regardless of 
how many letters are 
required to spell out the 
card's name.DQ